Civil War

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Civil War
The United States 1864 Non-Slavic Union States Slavery Confederate States
The United States 1864
  • Union states without slavery
  • Union states with slavery
  • Confederate States
  • date April 12, 1861 to June 23, 1865
    place mostly in the southern states of the USA
    Casus Belli Bombardment of Fort Sumter
    Exit Northern victory
    consequences Restoration of the Union, abolition of slavery
    Parties to the conflict
    United States 35United States
    United States
    States of America Confederate 1865Confederate States of America
    Troop strength
    > 634,703
    dead:> 359,528
    wounded:> 275,175
    > 335,524
    dead:> 198,524
    wounded:> 137,000
    The civil war was the first war in which the railroad played a crucial role
    The Civil War was one of the first wars that were also documented photographically. Here: Fallen in the Battle of Antietam , photo by Alexander Gardner , 1862

    The Civil War or American Civil War was the military conflict that lasted from 1861 to 1865 between the southern states that had left the United States and united in the Confederation and the northern states that remained in the Union .

    The cause was a deep economic, social and political division between northern and southern states, which came to light above all in the question of slavery and which had deepened since around 1830. In response to the election of the moderate opponent of slavery Abraham Lincoln as US President , most of the southern states left the Union in the winter of 1860/61. The war began on April 12, 1861 with the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter . It essentially ended with the surrender of the Northern Virginia Confederate Army at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. The last Confederate forces surrendered in Indian Territory on June 23, 1865 . After the victory of the north, the southern states were accepted back into the Union as part of the reconstruction .

    The most important consequences of the war were the strengthening of the central power and the final abolition of slavery in the USA as well as the increased orientation of the country as an industrial state.


    The Civil War solidified and unified the United States and smoothed its rise to a great power. Due to its total character and numerous technical innovations on the battlefield, it is considered to be the first modern, industrial-scale armed conflict in history. It was the most costly confrontation ever fought on US soil, and claimed more American lives than any other war the country has been involved in in its history. The Civil War is still present in the collective memory of Americans today, especially in the southern states, where the fighting was almost exclusively fought.

    Jefferson Davis , President of the Confederate States
    Abraham Lincoln , then President of the United States

    At the beginning of the war, neither side was clear about how long the war should last and what means and strategies it should be waged. It was only after the first battle of Manassas , which was victorious for the south, that the north seriously began to set up and equip a powerful army . The leaders in the north had realized that the war would not end quickly.

    After the battle, the south tried to politically and militarily integrate the border states of Kentucky and Missouri into its national territory. These efforts were discontinued at the end of 1862 with no results.

    In the east, the Union first tried to take the Confederate capital, Richmond , Virginia , with the Peninsula Campaign . This failed, however, on Confederate General Robert E. Lee . He used his success in the Seven Day Battle and his victory in the Second Battle of Manassas to invade Maryland with his Northern Virginia Army . This first invasion of the north ended with the Battle of Antietam . After this battle, Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation , which declared all slaves in the rebellious states to be free from January 1, 1863, but not those in the slave states that had remained with the Union. Even so, the associated moral advantage of the North made it impossible for Britain and France to intervene on the South's behalf. However, Lincoln's primary war goal remained the restoration of the Union.

    The northern states occupied half of Tennessee in 1863 and conquered the transportation hub of Vicksburg , Mississippi . The confederation was thus divided, since the union controlled the entire course of the Mississippi . In the east, General Lee achieved some spectacular successes in the spring. To force the Union to withdraw siege troops from Vicksburg, establish a military stalemate and wrest a negotiated peace from the North, he used his victories to invade Maryland and Pennsylvania again . This second attempt at invasion of northern territory failed in the Battle of Gettysburg . The defeats of the Confederates at Vicksburg and Gettysburg in July 1863 are considered to be the turning points of the war. At the end of the year, the front line ran along the Rappahannock River in Virginia to the east, Tennessee was divided to the west and the Mississippi was firmly in the hands of the northern states. The conquest of the Mississippi Valley began in 1862 with the capture of New Orleans , Louisiana and Fort Donelson , Tennessee. The blockade of the ports of the south by the Northern States fleet had initial effects on industry and supply.

    In 1864 President Lincoln appointed General Ulysses S. Grant , the victor of Vicksburg, as Commander-in-Chief of the US Army. Grant went on the offensive simultaneously in the eastern and western theaters of war. The campaign in the east, which he himself led, ended with great losses and without clear results in the trench warfare off Petersburg, Virginia. The Atlanta campaign in the west, commanded by General William T. Sherman , ultimately led to the victory that was so much needed for Lincoln's re-election, the conquest of Atlanta . Sherman's subsequent march to the sea, across Georgia and into the Carolinas, split the Confederation again and threatened Virginia with the capital Richmond from the south.

    The Confederates made another desperate effort in 1865 to avert total defeat, but the economic resources to supply the army and the population were exhausted - not least due to the warfare of General Sherman, who is considered an advocate of total war . The most powerful army in the southern states, the Northern Virginia Army under General Lee, surrendered to Grant's troops on April 9 at Appomattox Court House . The other armies of the south also laid down their arms by summer.

    After the end of the war, the reconstruction and reintegration of the southern states into the Union, the " Reconstruction ", which ended in 1877, followed. With the 13th amendment to the Constitution , which came into force on December 18, 1865, slavery was finally abolished throughout Germany. In the long term, the civil war meant that the northern states now also took on the culturally leading role within the Union. The USA increasingly transformed itself into a centrally managed, industrialized state and laid the foundations for the economic boom of the Gilded Age and its position as world power in the 20th century.


    Political reasons

    The Missouri Compromise Line

    The contrasts go back to the founding of the United States. The constitution protected slavery where it already existed. In addition, the Constitution counted slaves as three-fifths of the population when measuring seats in the House of Representatives and Electoral College. Since only adult white men were entitled to vote, the southern states received a voting weight that was well above their relevant share of the population.

    The difficult equilibrium between the two sides was always jeopardized when a new state joined the Union. When Missouri and Maine were to join the Union in 1820 , MPs agreed on the Missouri Compromise . According to this, slavery should be allowed in all new states south of the Missouri Compromise Line, but north of it with the exception of Missouri it should be prohibited in principle. For the areas east of the Mississippi, the separation into northern and southern states on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line continued to apply . Thomas Jefferson feared that the division of the country by the Missouri Compromise Line could lead to the destruction of the Union.

    ... this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union.

    “… This momentous question alarmed and frightened me like a bell of fire in the night. The thought immediately occurred to me that this was the Union's death knell. "

    The balance established by the Missouri Compromise was once again jeopardized by the large US territorial gains in the 1848 Mexican-American War . California joined the Union in 1850 as a free state. This not only gave the slavery-free states a majority of 32 to 30 votes in the Senate , but also put a stop to the expansion of slavery to the Pacific. In the compromise of 1850 , Senator Henry Clay from Kentucky once again reached a compromise: slavery should be allowed in the rest of the territory that Mexico had ceded in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (the later states of New Mexico and Arizona ). In addition, the Fugitive Slave Act obliged the authorities of the northern states to transfer escaped slaves to the south. In turn, the slave trade was banned in the District of Columbia .

    The conflict came to a head again when it became foreseeable that only Florida would join the Union in the south and three other states in the north. When the majority of Congress broke the Missouri Compromise with the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 , the conflict escalated. There were more and more events polarizing the nation in north and south. These included the open civil war in Kansas , the high-profile Dred Scott ruling of the Supreme Court of 1857, according to which blacks had no "rights that white people should respect," and the attempt by the abolitionist John Brown in the year Triggering a slave revolt in 1859 by raiding an army depot in Harpers Ferry . The question of whether slavery should be permissible in principle for economic reasons or whether it should be abolished in the long term for moral and religious reasons was a permanent and growing issue of conflict.

    From the perspective of the south, however, the conflict was not only about the slave issue, but also about the rights of the individual states vis-à-vis the federal government in general. Proponents of secession argued that the individual states would not have given up their sovereignty when they joined the Union and could therefore leave the USA again at any time. In addition, the Union should not impose a specific social system on any single state. A single state therefore has the right to annul a federal law in its territory that violates its interests ( nullification doctrine ). If this had not already been the case when the Union was founded, which explicitly guaranteed property rights to slaves in the constitution of 1787, the southern states, it was now said, would never have joined it. In the opinion of the southern states, with the attacks on slavery and with other interventions in the laws of the individual states, the northern states continuously violated the spirit of the constitution and thus endangered the existence of the Union. If the federal government refused to adhere to the nullification doctrine, the legitimate way out would be secession . Historians such as James M. McPherson point out, however, that slavery was closely linked to the "state rights" argument: states' rights have always been a means to an end rather than a principle, and since the end of the In the nullification crisis , this purpose was primarily the preservation of slavery. Brian Holden Reid observes similarly : “Without the problem of serfdom […] there would have been no war. [...] The emphasis with which the "rights of the state" were stressed in the south was essentially just a coded expression for the defense of slavery ".

    The Unionists in the northern states countered the advocates of the nullification doctrine that a democratic polity could in principle only exist if the principle of majority decision-making applies: it is not up to the minority, if a decision is made democratically, it is not theirs The sense is to give up loyalty to the community. Because such an approach would ultimately make a democracy impossible, as the minority in this way could always refuse to accept the majority will and threaten secession. Such a right to secession does not therefore exist in a democracy. By threatening to withdraw from the United States in the event that slavery should be restricted or an uncomfortable US president should be elected, they are endangering American democracy as such. This idea was also the basis of Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address , in which, two years after the outbreak of war, he demanded "that the government of the people, by the people and for the people, should not disappear from the earth."

    When the southerners and secessionists placed sovereignty in the individual states, while the unionists in the north on the federal level, it became clear that there was disagreement about the character of the USA: Was it more a federation from which one could withdraw, or? a state where this was not possible? Only the outcome of the Civil War decided this dispute in favor of the unionists and defined the USA as a federal state.

    In fact, there was no majority in favor of the abolition of slavery in the northern states. The abolitionists remained in the minority even during the war. The unionist politicians of the north therefore officially always took the position that it was not about slavery, but about democracy and the preservation of the United States. Even Abraham Lincoln , the presidential candidate of the Republican Party for the election year 1860, did not come about for the immediate abolition of slavery, but only for their consistent restriction to the countries where they already exist. How far the polarization had progressed at that time is shown by the fact that Lincoln was not even on the ballot papers in ten southern states.

    Both sides later denied that the slavery issue was the reason for the outbreak of civil war. However, it had played a major role in the development of different economic and social systems in the north and south, which then led to political and economic disputes.

    The Marais des Cygnes massacre committed on May 19, 1858 in Kansas by advocates of slavery against their opponents.

    Economic and social reasons

    Proportion of slaves in the total population of each American state and territory in 1860

    While industrialization progressed in the northern states and with it the steep increase in the productivity of wage laborers, the focus of the economy of the southern states, especially that of the deep south , remained on the production of cheap raw materials, in which the price pressure favored slavery, which is cheaper than wage labor. Thus the north offered immigrants better working conditions, and the then general labor shortage was exacerbated in the south. This went hand in hand with the dependence of the South on slavery.

    A point of contention that had existed for a long time between North and South was the federal protective tariff policy, which among other things had led to the biggest constitutional crisis to date, the nullification crisis of 1832/33. In some northern states, as a result of the economic crisis of 1857 , the conviction that higher protective tariffs could help the domestic economy survive the crisis prevailed again . This desire for a renewed protective tariff policy found expression in the party program of the Republicans. Above all, the protective tariffs were intended to make cheap imports of foreign industrial goods more expensive and thus improve sales of industrial goods produced in the north. The agrarian south produced hardly any industrial goods, but had to import them either from abroad or from the north. A price increase caused by the protective tariffs would therefore have hit the economy of the south hard. In addition, the south produced almost two thirds of all exports in 1860 and feared that its sales markets might impose similar tariffs. Despite these conflicting economic interests, the north and south were dependent on each other for further economic growth. What the south did not export went to the north; this supplied the inhabitants of the southern states with the products from industrial manufacture.

    Different societies had developed in the north and south: the majority of the population of the northern states consisted of small farmers in the west and wage workers in the east. In addition, there was a small middle class as well as a few long-established and new rich members of the upper class. The public education system was well developed because the industry needed skilled workers. Most of the time, only privileged people had access to universities.

    In the south lived impoverished white day laborers and farmers, a small middle class of artisans and small plantation owners with a few slaves, who faced a small, long-established upper class of the large plantation owners. The public education system remained rudimentary , but members of the upper class were well educated in private schools. Despite the enormous wealth gap, there was hardly any tension within white society in the South. The model of the planter aristocrat and the opposite image of the slave, who because of his skin color - regardless of how deep the individual white had sunk - is basically far below a white man ( white supremacy ), made the southerners stand almost unanimously behind the institution of slavery.

    Another factor that should not be underestimated was the fear of whites of a liberated slave population. “The horrors of Santo Domingo”, where between 3000 and 5000 members of the French colonial power were killed by former slaves after the revolution in Haiti in 1804, was still remembered by the elderly and was invoked again and again.

    A divided country

    Results of the 1860 presidential election

    Before the presidential election in 1860 , the Democratic Party split into two wings. The North Democrats nominated the moderately slavery-critical Senator Stephen A. Douglas from Illinois as a presidential candidate, the South Democrats nominated Vice President John C. Breckinridge , a clear advocate of slavery. Abraham Lincoln ran for the Republicans. A fourth party was the Constitutional Union Party , a platform of ex-moderate Whigs who refused to join the Republicans or any of the Democratic wings. Your candidate was John Bell . The party tried to mediate between North and South and gave itself the slogan “ … the Union as it is, and the Constitution as it is. ”(German:“ … the Union as it is, and the constitution as it is. ”).

    As expected, Breckinridge won all the electoral votes in the Lower South. In the Upper South, however, he was defeated by John Bell, while Douglas was particularly strong in the border states. The electoral votes of the North went almost entirely to Lincoln, who thereby received 180 votes in Electoral College , 28 more than needed for the election. On the question of slavery, Lincoln had repeatedly emphasized that the decision on it was a matter for the individual states and that a federal government led by him would not intervene. Nevertheless, it came to secession after his election , as several southern states did not want to accept Lincoln's election victory. There were about four months between the presidential election in 1860 and the assumption of office of the new president in early 1861. A power vacuum developed because the incumbent President James Buchanan was not prepared to take decisive measures to preserve the Union. Within three months of Abraham Lincoln's election in November 1860, six southern states left the union:

    State Secession on Joining the CSA
    South carolina December 20, 1860 Founding state
    Mississippi January 9, 1861 Founding state
    Florida January 10, 1861 Founding state
    Alabama January 11, 1861 Founding state
    Georgia January 19, 1861 Founding state
    Louisiana January 26, 1861 Founding state

    These six states, in which slave labor ( peanuts , sugar cane , tobacco , cotton ) was the most important economic factor, founded a confederation, the Confederate States of America (CSA), independent of the USA on February 4, 1861 . With the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, the Confederates began the war and occupied this and other US military bases on their territory. In response, Lincoln mobilized the armed forces to retake the bases. Four other states subsequently left the Union, Texas had left the Union in February and joined the Confederation in March, which now comprised a total of eleven states.

    State Secession on Joining the CSA
    Texas February 1, 1861 March 2, 1861
    Virginia April 17, 1861 May 7, 1861
    Arkansas May 6, 1861 May 18, 1861
    North Carolina May 20, 1861 May 20, 1861
    Tennessee June 8, 1861 June 8, 1861
    The Civil War with the chronological sequence of events in an animation.
    Green: Leaving the Union
    Gray: Joining the Confederacy
    Pink: Remaining Union
    States Brown: Territories of the Union
    Purple: Territory of the Confederation

    Four "slave-owning states" remained in the Union: Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware. In Virginia, the northwestern counties split off on June 20, 1861 in Wheeling from Virginia, declared the exit from the Union for invalid and formed the "Restored Government of Virginia" ("Restored Government of Virginia") . The area was added to the Union on June 20, 1863 as the 35th state of West Virginia . These five states formed the "border states".

    In Delaware , after the presidential election, Lincoln’s Democratic rival Breckinridge received a majority of the vote. On January 3, 1861, the state's deputies decided against secession.

    Breckinridge had also won the election campaign in Maryland . The local parliament rejected the secession on April 27, 1861. When a volunteer regiment from Massachusetts tried to march through Baltimore to Washington, DC , there was serious unrest and rioting with a secessionist mob . These events, as well as the fear of an invasion of the capital itself, prompted the US government to station troops in Maryland and declare martial law . Had Maryland left the Union, it would have been a disaster for the US government, as Washington, DC would have become an isolated exclave between Maryland and Virginia . The psychological effects on the population could have called into question the achievement of the Union's war aims. Even with Maryland on the Union side, the capital of the northern states bordered directly on enemy territory. Richmond, the capital of the CSA, was only 100 miles away.

    Missouri also remained in the Union. Governor Claiborne F. Jackson , who was sympathetic to the Confederation, called up the militia . Union Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon attacked him on June 14, 1861 and pursued him and the remnants of the militia to the south-west corner of the state. In the vacuum created, the elected assembly was reconstituted and formed the provisional government that remained loyal to the Union. The secessionists meanwhile proclaimed the secession of Missouri and formed their own government in the area they controlled. The Confederation recognized this on October 30, 1861.

    Kentucky declared itself neutral ( Kentucky Declaration of Neutrality ). When southern troops invaded south and east Kentucky, supporters of the Confederation organized a meeting that elected George W. Johnson, a secessionist governor. However, when Confederate troops occupied the city of Columbus , public opinion shifted back to the Union course. The Confederate government was ousted and Kentucky remained loyal to the Union.

    At that time, New Mexico was not a state, just a territory. The southern half joined the secession. The Confederation incorporated it as Arizona Territory with Mesilla as its capital. This area was only sparsely populated by whites and played only a subordinate role in the war.

    California had been a non-slavery state since joining the Union in 1850. Lincoln had a relative majority here. There were quite a few sympathizers from the southern states and their presidential candidate, John C. Breckinridge, who won 28% of the vote. California was considered the "northern" state. The Californian troops were not under the US government, but California sent them to the fight against the southern states. In addition, California's newly discovered gold partially financed the war.

    The Confederate States Constitution, passed on March 11, 1861, was very similar to that of the United States , with the exception of express permission for slavery. After the founding of the Confederation, there were several attempts to persuade the northern states to peaceful recognition, all of which were unsuccessful. The Confederate Congress , constituted on February 6, 1861 in Montgomery , Alabama, elected Jefferson Davis provisional president on February 9, 1861, and approved the establishment of the War Department on February 21, 1861. Alexander Hamilton Stephens became provisional vice president . After Virginia joined the Confederation, the capital was moved from Montgomery to Richmond. However, the relocation to the more prestigious Richmond also brought the proximity to the northern states area with it.

    The newly elected President of the Northern States, Abraham Lincoln, tried again and again until he took office on March 4, 1861, to have a calming effect on the southerners. However, the fronts were so hardened that there seemed to be no solution other than armed conflict. Lincoln made it clear in his inaugural address that the northern states would not start the war.

    Starting position

    The north was far superior to the south in terms of population and economic power. The approximately 21 million northerners were compared to only 9 million inhabitants of the southern states, of whom only 5 million belonged to the white population, from which the Confederation army had to be recruited. Industrial production in the northern states was about nine times that of the southern states in 1860, even after the four northern states joined the Confederation.

    In contrast, the south had some strategic advantages over the north: On the one hand, due to its geographical location, it was able to use the " inner lines " for its defense . In addition, there was a more pronounced military tradition in the upper class of the southern states than in that of the north, which meant that the Confederation had a relatively larger number of capable military at its disposal.

    Above all, however, unlike the north, it did not have to wage a war of conquest to achieve its war aims . It did not need a complete military victory to achieve independence. It would have been enough to drag the conflict out so long that the north would have become war-weary or that the great European powers England and France, whose economies suffered from the loss of cotton supplies, would have intervened in favor of the south. Both goals were pursued by the Jefferson Davis administration.

    The army of the United States was before the war of about 16,000 men. Many soldiers whose home was in the southern states had already left the army and often joined the militias of the southern states. In addition, almost all of the garrisons were in the west and along the Canadian border. Some units were stationed in forts on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

    The Confederate Congress approved the formation of the provisional army on February 28, 1861. On March 6, it approved the drafting of 100,000 volunteers and militia members into the provisional army and on the same day approved the formation of the regular army with a number of 15,015 soldiers.

    There were only two naval ports of Norfolk , Virginia and Pensacola , Florida on Confederation territory . Both were occupied by the Northerners. The Confederation did not have any ships. Nevertheless, the Navy Department was established on February 21, 1861 .

    Operations in Charleston Harbor
    Fort Sumter

    red: Confederation victory

    Some northern garrisons were on Confederation territory. Fort Sumter in the port of Charleston , South Carolina and Fort Monroe on the tip of the Virginia Peninsula were to receive special significance . After the fall of Fort Sumter, President Lincoln asked the states of the Union on April 15, 1861, to convene 75,000 men for three months, with which the "insurrection" of the southern states should be put down.

    The United States Navy burned its ships in Norfolk on April 20 to keep them from falling into Confederate hands.

    At the beginning of the war, 313 graduates from the US Military Academy in West Point , New York had joined the Confederate Army; 440 officers remained in the Union's army . Many of the future Southern officers, however, had more experience - they had been regimental commanders or department heads in the ministry.

    There was no commander-in-chief of the army or navy in the Confederation . The army led President Jefferson Davis himself; he was a West Point graduate and former Union Secretary of War . The Navy was led by Secretary of the Navy Stephen Russell Mallory .

    President Abraham Lincoln was Commander in Chief of all Union forces . The Commander in Chief of the Army was Brevet - Lieutenant General Winfield Scott , who acted largely independently of the War Department.



    The division into theaters of war resulted from the geographic structure of the United States. The east stretched from the Atlantic coast to the Appalachians , the western theater of war between the Appalachians and the Mississippi, and the area west of the Mississippi, excluding the states bordering the Pacific, formed the theater of war Trans-Mississippi. The states and territories lying on the west coast formed the theater of war on the Pacific Coast and the coasts of the southern states, including the mouth of the Mississippi, formed the theater of war on the Lower Coast and Gulf Accesses.

    Strategic and Political Development

    Lincoln's demand for 75,000 soldiers gave the northern southern states and Arkansas the opportunity to leave the Union. Both warring parties expected the war to last briefly - the south had signed the soldiers for a year, the north only for three months.

    Scott's Anaconda Plan
    1861 cartoon

    General Scott developed his first strategic ideas with the so-called anaconda plan . Scott didn't want to destroy the southern land because it would have to be rebuilt later. The plan was to cut off supplies from overseas and the West by blocking the seaports and the Mississippi and force them to surrender.

    The Confederates expected diplomatic recognition from France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and ordered warships in Great Britain. Queen Victoria's government initially declared Great Britain's neutrality in the internal American conflict. The Confederation's war goal was to secure independence. The southern states ruled out violent territorial expansion at the expense of the Union, but allowed other states to join the confederation. To do this, they supported the secessionist efforts of the residents of Missouri and Kentucky. On the initiative of local politicians, militias and regular troops were set up in the respective areas.

    A scramble for posts arose in the Union. Experienced military instructors were rare, and personalities from politics and business with influential political friends applied for officer patents. After initial military successes in northwest Virginia, the northwest counties split from the Confederation under the Restored Government of Virginia and applied for membership in the Union. On July 4, the US Congress approved President Lincoln's request for a further 500,000 volunteers and decided on July 22 that the abolition of existing institutions (particularly slavery) was not the aim of the conflict with the South.

    After the first victories, the South took Missouri and Kentucky into the Confederation. President Davis appointed ambassadors to Great Britain, France and Spain . The Confederation assumed that Britain would use the Royal Navy to protect the trade in the much-needed cotton. To increase the pressure on the European powers, the Confederates imposed an unofficial cotton embargo . From this point on, the plantation owners hoarded cotton, hoping that a cotton shortage in European countries, especially in English manufacturers, would force their fleets to intervene. However, in the lead-up to a conflict between northern and southern states, the cotton-processing companies had built up enormous stocks of raw cotton, which made intervention superfluous. In addition, the urgently needed foreign exchange was reduced even more by the unsold cotton stocks. President Davis offered private armed ships letters of war to use them as auxiliary cruisers against the US merchant navy. In the presidential election in the Confederate States on November 6, the only candidate Jefferson Davis was elected by the population as regular President of the Confederate States.

    The US Navy managed to capture two of the appointed ambassadors on the English mail ship Trent . Great Britain then imposed an export ban and increased its troops on the Canadian border ( Trent affair ). The US was forced to release the two Confederate diplomats.

    Under pressure from Major General McClellan's political supporters, General Scott resigned and was released on November 1. McClellan succeeded him as Commander in Chief of the US Army.

    In the south it became clear towards the end of the year that logistics was one of the biggest problems. There were only about 8,500 miles of track available, as opposed to about 22,500 miles in the north. The south had the advantage of the Inner Line and therefore tended to have to cover shorter distances by rail than the north; However, its weaker rail network was a considerable disadvantage. In addition, more and more soldiers left their units in the autumn to check on everything at home and to return to the fighting in the spring.

    Theater of War Trans-Mississippi

    Operations to Take Control of Missouri
    Boonville - Carthage - Wilson's Creek - Dry Wood Creek - Lexington I - Liberty - Fredericktown - Springfield I.
    Operations in Indian territory
    Round Mountain - Chusto-Talasah - Chustenahlah

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    Missouri was the most divided state in itself. Riots broke out in St. Louis in May . After the victories over the Union troops on Wilsons Creek and in Lexington, Missouri, these succeeded in driving the southerners to the southwest corner of the state. Missouri was admitted to the confederation towards the end of the year, although almost the entire state was ruled by a loyal governor.

    The various tribes living in the Indian territory were heavily wooed from both sides. The south signed a pact of assistance with Choctaw and Chickasaw on July 12, and the Cherokee also joined the south. The Upper Creek supported the north, the Seminoles were split. Many Indians were deployed in regiments on both sides. In November and December, the southerners tried to drive the Indians allied with the northern states from the Indian territory in order to get undecided on their side. The Confederates won the three skirmishes, in which not only Indians but also regular troops were involved on the side of the southern states.

    In the New Mexico Territory , southerners organized the formation of troops. In July there were the first skirmishes with Union troops. On August 1, the southern states declared the territory of New Mexico south of the 34th parallel to the Confederate Territory of Arizona .

    Western theater of war

    Kentucky had declared itself neutral under a pro-secession governor and a pro-union congress. This neutrality was violated as the first Major General Leonidas Polk , known as "the fighting bishop", who occupied Columbus , Kentucky on the Mississippi with southern troops. In response, the Northerners under Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant occupied Paducah , Kentucky at the mouth of Tennessee in Ohio . From then on, none of the warring factions observed Kentucky’s neutrality.

    Western theater of war 1861

    The commander in chief of the Confederate forces from the Cumberland Gap to the Mississippi was General Albert S. Johnston. These forces were inferior to those of the Union, but had the advantage of good lines of communication and unified leadership. Polk was in charge in the west and Major General William J. Hardee in the east.

    Operations in Eastern Kentucky
    Barbourville - Camp Wild Cat - Ivy Mountain - Rowletts Station
    Operations at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    The Northern Army in the western theater of war was organized into three armies and had no commander in chief. Attacks across the Mississippi took place in another area of ​​the organization - the Trans-Mississippi theater of war - and not coordinated with it. By occupying Paducah, the Union had succeeded in preventing the eventual secession of Kentucky.

    Both warring parties tried by military pressure to win the people of Kentucky over to their side. Brigadier General Felix K. Zollicoffer (CSA) led a campaign from eastern Tennessee in October with the aim of advancing along the Wilderness Road into Bluegrass Country and conquering Lexington , Kentucky. The campaign failed and Zollicoffer had to winter on Cumberland south of Somerset , Kentucky.

    Grant intended in November to relieve the Union-loyal Missourians with an attack on Columbus. He succeeded in driving out the Confederate forces of Polks who had crossed over to the Missouri shore; the attack on Columbus had to be canceled. This action was seen as a success at a time when the Union was inactive on all fronts.

    The southern states occupied Bowling Green , Kentucky and made it the capital of Confederate Kentucky, which was admitted to the Confederation as their 13th state.

    Eastern theater of war

    The Confederation gave up the Potomac bank opposite Washington and, under the leadership of Major General PGT Beauregards, set up defense on the Bull Run , which flows northwest to southeast into the Potomac . At the same time, troops from the southern states tried to keep the secession-willing northwestern counties of Virginia under control. The Shenandoah Valley was Virginia's "bread basket" and at the same time was a way of moving troops north under the protection of the Blue Ridge Mountains . Troops under Major General Joseph E. Johnston were stationed here.

    Eastern theater of war 1861
    Operations in Western Virginia
    Philippi Races - Rich Mountain - Kesslers Cross Lanes - Carnifex Ferry - Cheat Mountain - Greenbrier River - Camp Allegheny
    Manassas campaign
    Hoke Run - Blackburn's Ford - First Battle of the Bull Run
    McClellan's Operations in Northern Virginia
    Balls Bluff - Dranesville

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    Major General George B. McClellan was named in command of the Ohio Defense Area in early May and took action against the Confederate units in western Virginia a month later. With a slow and cautious campaign, McClellan succeeded by mid-July in defeating the Confederates and enabling the separation of northwest Virginia from the Confederation. By the end of the year, the area west of the Shenandoah and Allegheny Mountains to the Ohio was secured for the Union.

    On the Potomac across the Shenandoah Valley, Major General Patterson led an 18,000-strong division of three-month volunteers. Major General McDowell led a corps of the US Army with 28,000 men around Washington . The few successes on the theater of war achieved McClellan, who thereby became the first war hero. Pressed by the public, Lincoln finally ordered McDowell to crack down on the southern positions at Bull Run. To prevent a reinforcement of Beauregard's troops, Scott ordered General Patterson to tie up Johnston's army in the Shenandoah Valley.

    However, at the end of the 90-day notice period, Patterson abandoned his assignment. McDowell attacked the Confederates at the Bull Run. Patterson's withdrawal enabled the Confederates to withdraw troops from the Shenandoah Valley and reinforce Beauregard at Manassas. For the first time, the railroad was used for the tactical relocation of troops. The Confederates did not take advantage of the victory at Manassas, after the battle the positions along the Bull Run remained almost unchanged.

    The Union's most successful troop leader to date, Major General McClellan, was called to Washington and tasked with setting up a strong army, the later Potomac Army . Again and again he stressed to the president that the army was not yet ready for an offensive approach. As a concession to Lincoln, he ordered two actions on the south bank of the Potomac, one of which was a disaster and gave the politicians a means to set up a " Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War" , who was supposed to judge the behavior of officers in combat. This enabled officers with a particularly democratic attitude to be monitored. On November 1, McClellan succeeded Winfield Scott - for the first time the leadership of all Union forces was in the hands of an assertive general.

    In the south, the victory at Manassas led to the assumption that the Union now had no choice but to recognize the Confederation.

    Naval warfare

    The industrialization of the southern states was far less advanced than that of the north. The factories of the state of Massachusetts alone produced more goods than those of the entire south. The newly founded confederation was therefore dependent on importing goods from abroad that were important for warfare and exporting cotton for them.

    Blockade of Chesapeake Bay
    Sewells Point - Aquia Creek - Big Bethel
    Blockade of the Potomac
    Cockpit point
    Blockade of the Carolinas coast
    Hatteras Inlet Batteries
    Operations during the blockade of the golf
    Fort Pickens

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    In order to cut off the southern states from this important source of supplies and money, the USA imposed, according to the plans of General Winfield Scott, a blockade of the southern state coast in the late spring of 1861. This posed a great challenge for the US Navy, as it had to block a coast of around 3,500 miles with ten large seaports with its few ships.

    In addition to the initially insufficient strength, the navy was also faced with the problem of only having a few bases in the south. Because of this, the US Navy did not succeed in the first year of the war in raising more than one of every twelve blockade breakers. In return, the Confederation tried to support the departure of their ships from the Chesapeake Bay and at the same time to block the Chesapeake Bay and the funnel mouth of the Potomac. Union forces tried several times, unsuccessfully, to destroy the Confederate coastal batteries. The Potomac estuary remained closed until March 1862.

    In order to improve the situation of the blockade fleet and to make its work easier, the navy decided to conquer further bases and ports in the south or to close them to blockade breakers.

    At the end of August, an amphibious battle group captured the forts Hatteras and Clark in North Carolina and closed the Pamlico Sound to the blockade breakers . The same fate befell Port Royal Sound , South Carolina three months later : A US fleet under the command of Samuel Francis Du Pont forced Fort Beauregard and Fort Walker to surrender and enabled the occupation of Port Royal , South Carolina and the surrounding area.

    In the Gulf of Mexico, Ship Island was also conquered in the Mississippi estuary, which later became the starting point for further ventures against New Orleans , Louisiana.

    The south, clearly inferior to the north at sea, relied on newly developed weapons. The southern states used sea ​​mines called torpedoes to protect their ports and rivers.


    Strategic and Political Development

    After the victories in autumn at the beginning of the year, the south limited itself to defensive measures. In memory of the American War of Independence , the leading figures believed that it was enough to hold the territory to be recognized by the Union as a state. In this way, the American colonies had defeated the mighty British Empire in the War of Independence, despite enormous material inferiority and the temporary loss of their most important cities . Since the superiority of the North over the South was far less than that of the British Empire over the 13 colonies, the majority of military experts at that time also took the position that the North would not win a war against the South and would not force it back into the Union could. In contrast to the American commanders around George Washington , who were prepared to sacrifice territory during the War of Independence in order to maintain the clout of their troops, the South assumed that everything had to be defended. The implementation of this doctrine therefore led to a fragmentation of the forces, as troops were stationed at all possible targets both on the borders with the north and along the entire coast. In the event of an attack by the north on their positions, the troops, which were thus divided into small contingents and positioned in isolation from one another, were often confronted by far superior troop contingents, against which they could do nothing.

    The blockade by the northern states in 1862 was not yet effective. However, since almost the entire industry producing war goods was located in the northern states, the development of war goods production began in the agrarian southern states. Soon this industry was competing with the army for male white workers. On January 23, Congress approved the summoning of 400,000 volunteers and militiamen.

    The north had used the time after the defeats to reorganize and train its troops. Under pressure from politicians and the public to finally take action against the South, Lincoln ordered in War Decree No. 1 on January 27th that all armies should begin offensives on February 22nd. Lincoln released McClellan from command as Commander-in-Chief of the Army on March 11 and led the forces with Secretary of War Stanton . With the largest army that had ever existed on American soil, McClellan attacked the Virginia Peninsula and continued to advance into Richmond. In the end he failed against General Lee just a few miles from Richmond. The south used a new weapon for the first time during the campaign: the “ Redoubt No. 4 ”near Yorktown, Virginia, the first landmines detonated .

    Jefferson Davis named General Lee his military adviser on March 3. In the wake of the defeats in the West, on April 16, Congress introduced conscription for white men between the ages of 18 and 35 for the duration of the hostilities. To the west, Albert S. Johnston concentrated his troops in the Corinth , Mississippi area. To the east, Joseph E. Johnston, advocating a strategic defensive, began to oppose the invasion of the Virginia Peninsula. Giving up terrain was not in accordance with Confederation doctrine and sparked heated controversy with Jefferson Davis. The largest city in the Confederation, New Orleans, was lost on April 28th, and the lower Mississippi River was ruled by the Union as far as Vicksburg , Mississippi. Two armored ships collided for the first time at the Battle of Hampton Roads in the spring, a further step towards the end of the era of wooden warships and the era of steam-powered armored ships .

    President Lincoln asked the state governors on July 2 to convene an additional 300,000 volunteers and make them available to the armed forces. On July 17, Congress authorized the President to draft colored people into the armed forces. On the same day, all men between the ages of 18 and 45 who were fit for military service were obliged to serve in state militia organizations for nine months. In Alabama, pro-union Winston County left the confederation and provided 2,000 soldiers for the north.

    In all theaters of war the Confederation became offensive again in the summer and autumn. To the west, Lieutenant General Braxton Bragg marched into Kentucky; to the east, Lee invaded Maryland. The aim was, through the occupation of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Missouri, to get the European powers to recognize the confederation under international law, to conclude a compromise peace with the northern states, to prevent autumn offensives by the northern states in Virginia and Tennessee and to weaken Lincoln's position against the war opponents in the north .

    After warding off the invasion of Maryland with the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln announced a preliminary emancipation declaration for all slaves, which was to come into effect on January 1st in the secessionist areas. The Declaration of Emancipation allowed all states that returned to the Union before January 1, as well as Maryland and Delaware, to continue slavery. The war goal remained the restoration of the Union and not the abolition of slavery. The Republicans retained a majority in the Congress elections, despite significant losses to the Democrats .

    In the south, on September 27, the maximum age of conscripts was increased to 45 years, beginning on July 15, 1863. Davis again emphasized not to make any territorial claims to the north. In December the southern armies succeeded in repelling attacks by the northern states in the western and eastern theaters of war. The blockade showed the first supply bottlenecks, there was a shortage of raw materials in the war industry and inflation weakened the currency.

    Despite the dependence of Europeans on cotton imports from the Confederation, the monarchies of Europe showed benevolence for the cause of the South, but held back when it came to recognizing the Confederation. After the Confederate victories in the summer and the offensives on northern territory, however, recognition of the southern states was considered in the British government. The news of the Confederate defeat at Antietam and the subsequent declaration of emancipation put an end to these considerations. The European states continued to support the confederation only by exporting goods that were important to the war effort in the south, but fewer and fewer of these reached the confederation due to the blockade by the northern states.

    Theater of War Trans-Mississippi

    Operations in Northeast Missouri
    Mount Zion Church - Roan's Tan Yard
    Pea Ridge Campaign
    Pea Ridge
    Prairie Grove Campaign
    Cane Hill - Prairie Grove
    Operations to suppress the Sioux uprising
    Fort Ridgely - Wood Lake
    Sibley's New Mexico campaign
    Valverde - Glorieta Pass - Peralta
    Operations north of the Boston Mountains
    Kirksville - Independence I - Lone Jack - Newtonia I - Clarks Mill - Old Fort Wayne
    Operations on the Cache River in Arkansas
    Hills Plantation

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    The complete incorporation of Missouri into state territory was the Confederation's primary objective in the theater of war. In addition, the energetic Major General Earl Van Dorn took over the supreme command of the Confederate forces in Missouri and Arkansas. In Kansas, the Union declared martial law. Van Dorn's Western Army advanced on March 4 against the Northern Defense positions at Sugar Creek, northwest of Fayetteville , Arkansas. Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee and Seminoles fought on the side of the southerners. In the Battle of Pea Ridge , Missouri, the Confederate Brigadier General Samuel Curtis faced Southwest Army , which included Sigel's "Missouri and Illinois Germans". Van Dorn did not have to leave the battlefield until he ran out of ammunition.

    The Confederate threat to Missouri had been repelled for 1862. That did not mean that there was no more fighting.

    The battle for Missouri took the form of a guerrilla war. The Confederates - called " Bushwhackers " - repeatedly set ambushes and attacked northern troops. Both sides frequently harassed the civilian population. Historians estimate that Missouri's population fell by a third during the Civil War. After the war, one of these groups kept their guns and murdered and raided banks under the leadership of Jesse James and his brother Frank until 1881.

    The Union first hired colored people to volunteer in Missouri in October. The Southerners scored a tactical draw at Prairie Grove , Arkansas on December 7th, but this was a strategic defeat as Northwest Arkansas remained firmly in the hands of the Union as a result.

    In Minnesota , the Santee , a Sioux people , rose in August . Army units managed to put down the uprising in September. The main victims of the uprising were civilians on both sides. 38 Santee were hanged in a mass execution on December 26th.

    In the Arizona Territory Brigadier broke Sibley with a brigade on to the New Mexico Territory to conquer for the Confederates. At the same time, the gold fields in Colorado were to be occupied and the ports of California threatened. After initial success, Sibley had to move south after the battle at Glorieta Pass . The Confederates succeeded in defeating the Union troops, but at the same time the Northerners destroyed the Confederate entourage. The Confederate withdrawal to El Paso, Texas marked the end of the invasion of the New Mexico Territory.

    Western theater of war

    As in the Trans-Mississippi theater of war, this theater of war was about state ownership - Kentucky. Confederate troops invaded northeast Kentucky from Virginia. Southerners under Brigadier General Zollicoffer stood north of Cumberland in central Kentucky near Somerset. Columbus on the Mississippi was still occupied.

    Strategy of the Union in the West
    Confederate Offensive in Eastern Kentucky
    Middle Creek - Mill Springs
    Union advance along the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers
    Fort Henry - Fort Donelson - Shiloh - Corinth I
    Joint operations against New Madrid, Island No. 10 and Memphis
    New Madrid - Island No. 10 - Fort Pillow I - Memphis
    1st Vicksburg campaign
    Chickasaw Bayou
    Confederate "Heartland" offensive
    Chattanooga I - Murfreesboro I - Richmond - Munfordville - Perryville
    Joint operations against Iuka and Corinth
    Iuka - Corinth II - Hatchie's Bridge
    Stones River Campaign
    Hartsville - Stones River
    Operations in the LaFourche district
    Georgia Landing
    Forrest's expedition to western Tennessee
    Jackson - Parkers Cross Roads

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory
    Western theater of war 1862

    Scott's long-war anaconda plan was not reactivated, but it was used as the basis for action. In order to invade Tennessee, it was necessary to control the Mississippi and its navigable tributaries. The forts Henry and Donelson protected Tennessee and Cumberland. Brigadier General Grant conducted a joint Army and Navy operation against Columbus to cover up Major General Don Carlos Buell's proposed approach to Tennessee. However, since there was no unified leadership, Buell did not run at all. The Ohio Army only attacked the Confederates at Prestonsburg and Somerset in January. One of the commanders was the future President James A. Garfield . The southerners moved to Virginia and south of the Cumberland. The Union had won its first victory of the year in the theater of war.

    Grant first attacked forts Henry and Donelson in another joint operation in February. Fort Henry was evacuated and abandoned by the Confederates, Fort Donelson surrendered unconditionally. Grant got his nickname here - instead of "Ulysses Simpson" "Unconditional Surrender" Grant. Due to the defeat, the Confederate Commander in Chief General Albert S. Johnston lost a third of his strength. The line of defense between Columbus and Bowling Green could no longer be held. The Confederates evacuated Columbus and organized a new defense along the Island No. 10, Tennessee, Corinth, Mississippi and Chattanooga , Tennessee. The Confederates moved the capital of Tennessee from Nashville to Memphis . Nashville was the first capital of a confederate state to fall into the hands of the Union.

    Major General Henry W. Halleck relieved Grant of his command. Lincoln put Grant with the words "I can not spare this man, he fights." ( "I can not spare this man, he fights.") As Commander of the West Tennessee Army again. Buell refused a joint operation against Corinth. Lincoln therefore appointed Halleck Commander-in-Chief on the theater of war in March, thus establishing unified leadership. Halleck ordered Grant to drive up the Tennessee, disembark at Pittsburg Landing near Shiloh, Tennessee, wait there for Major General Don Carlos Buell's army marching overland, and jointly attack the Confederates at Corinth.

    Albert S. Johnston intended to defeat Grant before Buell arrived, and marched from Corinth to Shiloh. Due to bad weather, the attack was delayed and Grant's army was saved by the arrival of Buell. Johnston was mortally wounded during the battle and Beauregard was named as his successor. The Confederates avoided the fortified Corinth. General Halleck attacked Corinth from Pittsburg Landing with 100,000 men. After a siege lasting almost a month, the Confederates under Beauregard left the city, primarily because of the catastrophic hygienic conditions. This interrupted the railway connections from the north and west, which are important for the south.

    On the Mississippi, the northerners succeeded in blocking the river at New Madrid , Missouri, Island No. Break through 10 and Fort Pillow and occupy Memphis. In June the Northerners tried to divert the Mississippi at Vicksburg and thus bypass the fortifications. Jefferson Davis referred to Vicksburg as the nail that holds the two halves of the Confederation together. The construction of the canal failed.

    The Confederates completed the armored ship CSS Arkansas on the Yazoo , which passed the Union fleet north of Vicksburg in July and entered the shelter of Vicksburg. Several attempts to sink Arkansas failed.

    In August, the ship was supposed to assist Major General Breckinridge in an attack on Baton Rouge , Louisiana. The ship's engines failed and it had to be abandoned. The attack on Baton Rouge also failed, but the city was evacuated by the northern states a short time later and only reoccupied in December.

    The Union attempted to gain complete control of Tennessee by attacking Chattanooga that summer. Almost simultaneously, two southern armies under Major General Edmund Kirby Smith and Braxton Bragg, who had succeeded Beauregard, marched towards Kentucky. The Confederates captured Frankfort , Kentucky and Munfordvilles, Kentucky in September . General Don Carlos Buell pursued the Confederate armies. In the south, Earl Van Dorn attacked Corinth, Mississippi, unsuccessfully in October, but still prevented Buell's army from being reinforced. Bragg evaded Kentucky to Chattanooga after the Battle of Perryville in mid-October. The Confederation's summer offensives were unsuccessful and lossy despite the victories.

    Braxton Bragg occupied Murfreesboro , Tennessee again towards the end of the year . After his recovery, Joseph E. Johnston became the new commander in chief of the Confederate forces west of the Appalachians and in North Carolina. Grant prepared a campaign against Vicksburg, individual attacks on Vicksburg failed. Rosecrans attacked Bragg's southerners on the Stones River near Murfreesboro on December 31, and on January 2, 1863 forced him to go back to central Tennessee.

    After the capture of New Orleans, the federal troops tried to enlarge their sphere of influence in Louisiana. The Northerners intended to get the local sugar and cotton production into their own hands and to use the area in preparation for future operations to rule the Mississippi.

    The Confederates introduced a new type of warfare from February - the so-called raids . Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Hunt Morgan were the names of the two most successful generals who repeatedly succeeded in penetrating deep into the hinterland and permanently destroying the Union's railroad lines and depots.

    Eastern theater of war

    General Joseph E. Johnston built defensive positions along the Bull Run after the victory at Manassas. The bypassing of the positions on the waterway prevented the blockade of the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay. The hero of Manassas, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, raised a division in the Shenandoah Valley and unsuccessfully attacked the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in January .

    Eastern theater of war 1862

    President Lincoln thought highly of the Commander-in-Chief, General McClellan. He let him get away with disobedience and rudeness. At the urging of politicians and the public, Lincoln removed him from command on March 11th. McClellan's sole focus was on leading the Potomac Army. General Johnson thwarted the first operational plan for the attack on Richmond because the Confederates abandoned positions on Bull Run and moved to the south bank of the Rappahannock.

    Peninsula Campaign
    Yorktown - Williamsburg - Elthams Landing - Hanover Courthouse - Seven Pines - Seven Day Battle
    Burnside's North Carolina Expedition
    Roanoke Island - Elizabeth City - New Bern - Fort Macon - South Mills - Tranters Creek
    Jackson's operation against the B&O railroad
    Jackson's 1862 Shenandoah campaign
    Kernstown I - McDowell - Front Royal - Winchester I - Cross Keys - Port Republic
    Northern Virginia Campaign
    Cedar Mountain - Rappahannock Station I - Manassas Station - Thoroughfare Gap - Second Battle of the Bull Run - Chantilly
    Maryland campaign
    SouthMountain - Harpers Ferry - Antietam - Shepherdstown
    Fredericksburg Campaign
    Fredericksburg I
    Goldsboro Expedition
    Kinston - White Hall - Goldsboro Bridge

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    It was only after the immediate threat to the Virginia sea ​​routes was eliminated that McClellan embarked the Potomac Army on March 17 and landed on the southeastern edge of the Virginia Peninsula at Fort Monroe. The Potomac Army was about 120,000 strong. In support of the campaign, Lincoln ordered troops to be withdrawn from the lower Shenandoah Valley and from securing Washington. The peninsula campaign began on April 5th with the siege of Yorktown , Virginia. The Confederates gave up the city after a month and faced the first battle near Williamsburg , Virginia. McClellan reported the outcome of the battle as a grandiose success, although Johnston's troops were able to evade orderly and systematically, albeit with losses. McClellan followed the Confederates cautiously. He overestimated the number of Confederate troops facing the Potomac Army; At times McClellan was convinced that he would have to fight against 200,000 soldiers.

    The slow move gave Johnston time to postpone his major formations and to deceive McClellan about the real strength of the Northern Virginia Army. As Johnston dodged further and further in the direction of Richmond, he kept clashing with President Jefferson Davis. At the end of May, Johnston saw the possibility of destroying parts of the superior Potomac army for the first time. In the Battle of Seven Pines , however, McClellan managed to repel this attack. General Johnston was seriously wounded in the battle and was succeeded by General Robert E. Lee as Commander in Chief of the Northern Virginia Army.

    In North Carolina, Major General Ambrose E. Burnside managed to occupy the ports on Pamlico and Albemarle Sound as well as New Bern and Fort Macon in the winter and spring .

    As military adviser to the President, Lee had instructed General Jackson after his appointment to tie up as many Union troops as possible in the Shenandoah Valley and thus prevent McClellan's advance from the north being supported. Jackson achieved this with the brilliantly led Shenandoah campaign .

    Whenever the Union troops wanted to leave the valley and support McClellan from the north, he attacked the withdrawing Northerners and threatened Washington. President Lincoln did not want to accept the threat to the capital and therefore ordered an end to the marching movements that had just begun in support of the peninsula campaign and the threat to Washington to be eliminated.

    Lee strengthened Richmond's fortifications after the Battle of Seven Pines. On June 26, he took the initiative and attacked the Potomac Army for seven consecutive days. Lee was unable to win any day during the Seven Day Battle - however, the overcautious McClellan failed to take advantage and Lee scored his first strategic victory.

    McClellan had repeatedly asked the President to submit all available troops to him for the duration of the attack on Richmond. McClellan did not consider the threat to Washington to be as high as Lincoln did. McClellan received this command for a short time, but when Jackson threatened Washington again, Lincoln again led the associations in the north himself. McClellan therefore blamed the president for the failure of the campaign. The new Commander in Chief of the US Army, Major General Henry W. Halleck, ordered the evacuation of the Potomac Army and support for the offensive action of the Virginia Army under Major General John Pope on August 3 . McClellan carried out these assignments only half-heartedly and reluctantly.

    After the fighting in the Virginia Peninsula was over, Lee decided to attack Pope's Virginia army before McClellan could reinforce it. Lee brought Pope's army near last year's battlefield at Manassas and crushed the Northerners. In consultation with President Davis, Lee decided to invade Maryland. There he wanted to replenish supplies for the Northern Virginia Army and, if possible, recruit volunteers from the population of the border state for the army. In addition, Lee hoped his invasion could influence public opinion in the north and support peace efforts.

    The Virginia Army was absorbed into the Potomac Army after the defeat at Manassas. After the battle, a commanding general, Major General Fitz J. Porter, was ousted . Discharged from the army after a court martial , Porter was rehabilitated after the war. McClellan hesitantly followed the Northern Virginia Army. On September 17, the battle broke out at Antietam, during which McClellan was unable to defeat Lee despite having a double superiority due to poor coordination. In October, Lincoln repeatedly asked McClellan to pursue the enemy ("Give battle to the enemy."). It wasn't until the end of the month that McClellan crossed the Potomac. The vigorous pursuit of the now reorganized Northern Virginia Army did not take place.

    Lee managed to return the Northern Virginia Army to Virginia. Longstreets wing took up positions on the south bank of the Rappahannock near Fredericksburg, Jackson remained with the left wing of the army in the Shenandoah valley.

    President Lincoln relieved General McClellan from command of the Potomac Army on November 5, under public pressure. He was succeeded by Major General Ambrose Burnside , who was not up to the task. Even so, he immediately developed a plan of operations for the capture of Richmond. One of the first measures was to change the organization of the 100,000-strong Potomac Army. Burnside intended to cross the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg on pontoon bridges, defeat the Northern Virginia Army on the other bank and take Richmond. The battle broke out on December 13th. All of Burnside's attacks failed. The two armies faced each other at the Rappahannock. Another attack in January 1863 failed because of the bad weather.

    In North Carolina, Union forces attacked the railroad bridge at Goldsboro. Over this ran the Wilmington & Weldon railway line, on the important supplies from Wilmington , the blockade breakers landed there, were transported. The Northerners managed to destroy the railway bridge, but it was soon rebuilt by the Confederates.

    Naval warfare

    Operations against Fort Pulaski
    Fort Pulaski
    Operations against major cities in the Confederation
    Forts Jackson and St. Philip - New Orleans - Secessionville - Simmons Bluff - Tampa - Baton Rouge - Donaldsonville I
    Operations on the White River
    Saint Charles
    Blockade of the Texan coast
    Sabine Pass I - Galveston
    Peninsula Campaign
    Hampton Roads - Drewry's Bluff
    Expedition to St. John's Bluff
    St. John's Bluff

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    In 1862 the north continued its strategy of conquering ports along the coast of the southern states or making them inaccessible to the blockade breakers. In Georgia, the port of Savannah was closed to blockade breakers due to the occupation of Fort Pulaski by US troops. In Florida, Jacksonville and St. Augustine were captured, and Pensacola was evacuated by the Confederates in May. A Northern advance on Charleston, South Carolina, however, failed when the Southerners won a victory at Secessionville.

    Skirmish between Virginia (left) and Monitor (right) at close range

    To break the blockade, the south relied on new weapons and built the ironclad Virginia (armored gunboats had already been used on both sides, but only on the rivers to the west). The north reacted quickly, however, and in turn built the armored ship Monitor based on the design by John Ericsson . On March 8, the Virginia sank or destroyed two wooden US ships on the first day of the Battle of Hampton Roads , demonstrating the superiority of the new ironclad ships. However, the following day she encountered the monitor .

    The first battle between armored warships ended in a draw, and the Virginia eventually withdrew. The threat posed by it had been neutralized by the monitor . The Virginia was destroyed in May by the Confederates, when she lost her home port of Norfolk due to General McClellan's Peninsula Campaign. The greatest victory at sea to date was achieved by a US fleet under David Glasgow Farragut . On April 28th, he conquered New Orleans, the most populous city in the south. Farragut continued to advance up the Mississippi, captured Baton Rouge , passed the batteries of Vicksburg and met a freshwater flotilla above it. For his successes, he was named first rear admiral in the US Navy.

    In October, the Northern States captured the port of Galveston , Texas. However, the city was recaptured a short time later, on New Year's Day 1863, by Confederate troops under General Magruder and remained in Confederate hands until the end of the war.

    The southern pirate war was very successful from August onwards. The Alabama with English crew under Captain Raphael Semmes under the southern flag brought up 60 merchants and became a horror for US merchant shipping before it was sunk by the Kearsarge on June 19, 1864 .


    Strategic and Political Development

    The declaration of emancipation came into force on January 1st. The reasons for the declaration were, on the one hand, that the will to win in the north needed a new moral impulse and, on the other hand, that a crusade against slavery removed the constant threat of intervention by the European powers. The declaration had a decisive impact on the war. A compromise peace was no longer possible because the declaration resulted in the destruction of the economic order of the south. The Democrats as opponents of the war gained more and more popularity. Among other things, they fueled fears among the population that blacks would soon flood the entire country as cheap labor. In June, West Virginia became the 35th state to join the Union.

    The Union's embargo became more and more effective. It led to supply bottlenecks in the south - a shortage of raw materials endangered warfare and inflation weakened the currency. War speculators drove prices up. A riot broke out in Mobile, Alabama in August. The Confederation drew hope because of France's engagement in Mexico, in support of the plans of Napoleon III. to be recognized after all.

    Medical corps were created on both sides to take care of the wounded. For the first time in military history, hospital ships and trains were used. Massachusetts set up the first "Negro Regiment" in February.

    The congress in the north decided on March 3rd, the general conscription. On both sides it was possible to buy themselves out for a payment of 300 dollars or to provide a replacement. As a result, there were riots in New York in July , which were bloodily suppressed by regiments that came directly from Gettysburg. Lincoln asked the states in October to provide an additional 300,000 volunteers who were to be recruited with a handicap. This system turned out to be unsuitable. Many registered, deserted and re-registered, or they registered several times under pseudonyms. The southern states banned the placement of substitutes in December.

    The situation on all fronts was bogged down at the beginning of the year - Grant struggled stubbornly without result on the Mississippi, in Tennessee the two armies had returned to their starting positions at Nashville and Chattanooga after the Battle of the Stones River , and in Virginia the armies faced each other on the Rappahannock . In March Grant made a new attempt to capture Vicksburg. After the grand victory at Chancellorsville, Lee attacked the Union in Pennsylvania. These two operations ended almost simultaneously - Lee was defeated by Meade at Gettysburg and Vicksburg surrendered a day later. Many historians viewed the outcome of these two battles as important turning points in the war in favor of the Union. President Lincoln declared the Gettysburg Battlefield with the Gettysburg Address a National Cemetery in November . In the autumn, the Confederation achieved another great victory in North Georgia, which it was unable to exploit any further. At the end of 1863 the south had lost further territory in the western theater of war compared to the beginning of the year and was now in fact divided into two halves. Despite the bloody fighting, the year had not brought any great advantage to either side in the east;

    Theater of War Trans-Mississippi

    Marmadukes Missouri Expeditions
    Springfield II - Hartsville - Cape Girardeau - Chalk Bluff
    Quantrill's raid to Kansas
    Lawrence - Baxter Springs Massacre
    Operations in western Louisiana
    Fort Bisland - Irish Bend - Vermillion Bayou
    Taylor's operations in western Louisiana
    LaFourche Crossing - Donaldsonville - Kocks Plantation - Stirlings Plantation
    Push into Little Rock
    Little Rock - Pine Bluff
    Operations to rule over Indian territory
    Cabin Creek - Honey Springs - Devils Backbone
    Operations against Galveston
    Galveston II
    Operations against the Sioux in North Dakota
    Big Mound - Dead Buffalo Lake - Stony Lake - Whitestone Hill
    Expedition from Camp Douglas, Utah Territory to Cache Valley, Idaho Territory
    Bear River (Boa Ogoi Massacre)

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    Last year there had been a stalemate in the theater of war. The Confederation's war goal of controlling Missouri could no longer be achieved for the foreseeable future. The southern states were only concerned with causing as much damage as possible to the north in Missouri. Almost any means was suitable for this.

    The Confederates mostly carried out raids against depots and supply lines of the Union. The neuralgic areas were specially secured. Fierce fighting broke out there. In October the southerners succeeded in using a different fighting style, adopting the tactics of the Indians, to cause damage totaling several million dollars.

    The southern states continued to rely on guerrilla warfare . In doing so, they did not conduct their operations according to the rules of war; H. the soldiers fought in civil or northern uniforms. They often carried out terrorist attacks against the civilian population. In August, southerners attacked Lawrence, Kansas , killing 160 unarmed men, women and children (see Lawrence Massacre ). In retaliation, the Northerners drove 19,000 southerners from counties bordering Kansas.

    Federal troops under Maj. General Nathaniel P. Banks , a "political general", fought in western Louisiana in April. The fighting served to take possession of the largest possible area of ​​Louisiana and to secure traffic on the Mississippi. The Confederate Commander in western Louisiana fought to relieve the occupation of Port Hudson during and after the Union siege. Banks advanced in western Texas in the fall to alert France to the risks of its Mexico adventure. Brownsville , Corpus Christi and Indianola fell into the hands of the Union. Major General Taylor tried to disturb Banks. In spite of a victory, he did not succeed in this sustainably, but in the spring of 1864 the northern states gave up a large part of their conquests on the Texan coast.

    Because of the great battles that summer in the other theaters of war, Trans-Mississippi became a secondary theater of war. The fighting shifted from Missouri and Arkansas to Indian Territory and Utah Territory . The fratricidal war of the "Missourians" took place in front of Vicksburg - 17 Confederate and 22 Union regiments from Missouri faced each other. In July, in the Battle of Honey Springs, Indian Territory, black Union soldiers met Confederate Indians for the first time.

    The south managed to retake the port city of Galveston , Texas, in January , but the US Navy continued to block it. Galveston remained in Confederate hands until the end of the war. More than 3,000 Sioux were killed, wounded or captured in a punitive expedition in Dakota Territory.

    There were fewer soldiers involved in operations west of the Mississippi than in other theaters of war. Nevertheless, the fighting was just as intense and the percentage of casualties was the same as in the theaters of war to the east.

    At the beginning of the year there was an expedition of the Union troops against Shoshone on the theater of war on the Pacific coast . The Indians had carried out several raids against white facilities at the end of the previous year. In January the US Army carried out a punitive campaign to Idaho. The Union soldiers killed 384 Indian warriors, women and children in the battle on the Bear River , which is why the incident is also known as the Boa Ogoi massacre.

    Western theater of war

    Western theater of war 1863
    1st Vicksburg campaign
    Arkansas Post
    2. Vicksburg campaign
    Grand Gulf - Snyders Bluff - Port Gibson - Raymond - Jackson - Champion Hill - Big Black River Bridge - Millikens Bend - Goodrichs Landing - Helena - Vicksburg
    Siege of Port Hudson
    Plains Store - Port Hudson
    Operations in the Middle Tennessee and Tullahoma Campaign
    Dover - Thompsons Station - Vaughts Hill - Brentwood - Franklin - Hoovers Gap
    Chickamauga campaign
    Chattanooga II - Davis' Cross Roads - Chickamauga
    Opening of the Tennessee west of Chattanooga
    Chattanooga ring gold campaign
    Chattanooga III - Ring Gold Gap
    East Tennessee Campaign
    Blountsville - Blue Springs
    Longstreets Knoxville Campaign
    Campbells Station - Fort Sanders - Beans Station
    Morgan's raid into Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio
    Tebbs Bend - Lebanon - Corydon - Buffington Island - Salineville
    Streights raid through Alabama and Georgia
    Days gap
    Operations against the Memphis & Charleston Railroad

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    The Union shifted its focus in the first half of the year to the opening of the Mississippi for the movement of goods. Vicksburg, Mississippi was the Confederation's most important bulwark, on the one hand to prevent the Union from using the Mississippi and on the other hand to keep open a land connection to the western states. Vicksburg lies on the east bank of the Mississippi on a cliff that juts out about 50 m over the land. From here it was possible to stop shipping traffic on the Mississippi and to repel attacks from the east from elevated positions.

    Major General Grant tried again and again with his own tenacity to take out Vicksburg. On March 29, he began the Second Vicksburg Campaign with the Tennessee Army by marching south through Louisiana past Vicksburg. A month later, he crossed the Mississippi to the east and, after a series of battles and skirmishes, attacked the Mississippi capital, Jackson , and partially burned it down. After that, he turned west with his army and attacked Vicksburg. Grant failed twice because of the strong fortifications and the good use of the area by the Confederates. Since further attacks had little chance of success, Grant decided to besiege the city. The siege of the city ended with the surrender of the Mississippi Confederate Army on July 4, 1863.

    The Supreme Commander in Chief of the Southern States at Vicksburg was Lieutenant General Pemberton. He was under General Johnston. Pemberton did not attack Grant on the west bank of the Mississippi in March because he saw his behavior as a disruption of operations against Vicksburg. After Grant had crossed the Mississippi, Johnston ordered Pemberton to exploit the invaders' moment of weakness and attack Grant. Pemberton ignored this order and did not oppose Grant with notable forces until May 16.

    When the threat to Vicksburg became acute, Johnston had reported to President Davis that the Confederation could hold either Tennessee or Mississippi. The forces in the West are too weak for both. A soldier cannot decide this political question. Davis reverted to the old Confederate mistake of wanting to keep everything and made no decision. Instead, he ordered Johnston and his 5,000 men to terrorize Vicksburg. This did not happen because Johnston had to avoid the more than six-fold superior Grant at Jackson and Pemberton ignored orders to attack Grant's army together.

    Major General Banks attacked from New Orleans from May to the north via Baton Rouge Port Hudson, Louisiana, after Vicksburg, the last bastion of the southern states on the Mississippi. This should relieve Grant before Vicksburg. Banks captured the city after the fall of Vicksburg.

    In the Middle Tennessee is standing after the Battle of River Stones the Cumberland Army Major General William Rosecrans' and the Confederate Tennessee Army Braggs June almost idly by mid opposite. When Rosecrans began to march, Bragg evaded with the Tennessee Army to Chattanooga. Rosecrans reached the Cumberland Plateau after two months. The Battle of Chickamauga broke out in September . Rosecrans could not hold the positions it had reached and had to evade. Bragg did not pursue the defeated army and besieged Chattanooga. These mistakes led to considerable personnel changes on both sides. Major General George Henry Thomas replaced Rosecrans, Grant became Commander-in-Chief of the newly created Mississippi Territorial Command on October 17, which covered the entire western theater of war. Grant attacked Bragg's Tennessee Army in a concerted action near Chattanooga in late November and captured the mountain ranges south of Tennessee. Bragg dodged south and returned his command. He was succeeded by General Joseph E. Johnston.

    In eastern Tennessee, the Ohio Army advanced Major General Ambrose Burnsides of Kentucky. Burnside managed to take Knoxville and hold it against Confederate counterattacks.

    The Union and Confederation increased their troops in the theater of war in the second half of the year. Major General Hooker came with the XI. and XII. Potomac Army Corps rebuilt. On the Confederate side, the corps had been placed under Lieutenant General Longstreets Bragg. Longstreet carried out the decisive assault at Chickamauga that resulted in the Union Tennessee Army dodging. A little later, Longstreets Corps fought in one of the few battles fought exclusively at night.

    The concept of raids into the enemy hinterland was used by both warring parties. The Confederates carried out four major raids during the year: Major General Earl Van Dorn disrupted Major General Sherman's attack efforts on the left of the Mississippi against Vicksburg earlier in the year. Brigadier General Bedford Forrest raided Ft. Donelson through, occupied it and lost it again. In April, he fought off the Union raid in northern Georgia. Brigadier General Morgan made it through Kentucky to Indiana and Ohio, where he was captured. Morgan caused approximately $ 1,000,000 in damage. Brigadier General James R. Chalmer intended to cut General Sherman's lines of communication during his advance into Chattanooga.

    The Union carried out two major raids: Colonel Streight intended to disrupt Bragg's lines of communication in northern Alabama and Georgia. He was provided by Forrest. Colonel Benjamin Grierson raided Baton Rouge to distract from Grant's Vicksburg campaign. The Union had achieved all of its goals in the theater of war. Vicksburg and Port Hudson had fallen and the Mississippi was open to traffic. The confederation was divided. All of Tennessee was under the control of the northern states.

    Eastern theater of war

    Eastern theater of war 1863
    Fredericksburg Campaign
    Mud March
    Operations of the cavalry at Rappahannock
    Kelly's Ford
    Chancellorsville Campaign
    Chancellorsville - Fredericksburg II - Salem Church
    Gettysburg campaign
    Brandy Station - Winchester II - Aldie - Middleburg - Upperville - Hanover - Gettysburg - Williamsport - Boonsboro - Manassas Gap
    Bristoe campaign
    Auburn I - Auburn II - Bristoe Station - Buckland Mills - Rappahannock Station II
    Mine Run campaign
    Mine Run
    Longstreets operations in the tidewater
    Fort Anderson - Washington - Norfleet House / Suffolk - Hills Point / Suffolk
    Averell's raid against the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad
    Droop Mountain

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    President Lincoln turned down Major General Burnside's resignation after the catastrophic defeat of Fredericksburg . Burnside intended to bypass the Northern Virginia Army on the right during a period of fine weather in January, attack on their left flank and fight the way to Richmond. However, the weather changed shortly after the march along the Rappahannock to the west on just one road - it rained day and night. The Potomac Army sank in the mud. Burnside broke off the attack and returned to the starting positions. Major General "Fighting Joe" Hooker succeeded him.

    The Northern Virginia Army struggled with considerable difficulty. The land was drained and the army could only be supplied with food to a limited extent. General Lee sent his cavalry and artillery horses to remote areas of Virginia to take them through the winter. He gladly accepted the secondment of Lieutenant General Longstreets with two divisions in the south of Virginia.

    Hooker insisted on a paradigm shift in operations management with Lincoln in the spring. The target of every campaign should be the opposing army and not the opposing capital. Hooker had brought the Potomac Army back to a high level by early May. He dissolved the "Grand Divisions" created by Burnside, introduced corps and set up an independent cavalry corps. The Potomac Army made a sweeping attack on the right flank of the Northern Virginia Army in late April. Lee faced the attacking Potomac Army at the Chancellorsville homestead . With Jackson's corps he bypassed Hooker's army in the south almost unnoticed and in turn attacked the Potomac army in their rear. Hooker was unable to repel the southerners due to poor coordination with his army, which was almost twice as strong. The Potomac Army, defeated, had to move to the north bank of the Rappahannock. The Confederates lost one of their most skilled commanders during the battle; Lieutenant General Thomas J. Jackson was fatally injured in his own fire.

    Lee planned an invasion of the north after his greatest victory. He regrouped the Northern Virginia Army from two to three corps and marched from June under the protection of the Blue Ridge Mountains through the Shenandoah and Cumberland valleys to Pennsylvania. The Potomac Army Cavalry Corps under Maj. Gen. Pleasonton and the Northern Virginia Army Cavalry Division under Maj. Gen. JEB Stuart clashed at Brandy Station in the greatest cavalry battle of the Civil War. Hooker was forced to surrender his command to Major General George G. Meade on June 28th . The Potomac Army and Northern Virginia Army met at Gettysburg on July 1 . Lee left the battlefield after three days as a loser.

    General Lee was able to return the Northern Virginia Army to Virginia and reorganize it because of Meade's reluctant pursuit. The two armies faced each other again at Rappahannock in August. In the next two months there were numerous skirmishes and forays into the respective opposing territory. Neither side gained advantages. Major General Meade intended in November to attack the Northern Virginia Army before the onset of winter and drive them from the Rappahannock in the Mine-Run campaign. The attack failed, both armies wintered on both sides of the river.

    Lt. Gen. Longstreet was named in command of the Virginia and North Carolina Military Area on February 25 and immediately began operations in the Virginia-North Carolina border area. He managed to tie up more than 20,000 Northerners and Navy ships until he was ordered back to the Northern Virginia Army at the instigation of General Lee in early May.

    In this theater of war, too, there were raids on both sides. Famous on the Confederate side is Colonel John S. Mosby , who all year round with the 43rd Battalion of the 1st Virginia Cavalry Regiment, the Partisan Rangers, repeatedly interrupted the rear lines of communication of the Union.

    Naval warfare

    Operations against Charleston's defenses
    Charleston Harbor - Fort Wagner - Grimballs Landing - Fort Wagner / Morris Island - Fort Sumter II - Charleston Harbor
    Navy attacks on Fort McAllister
    Fort McAllister I
    Blockade of the Texan coast
    Sabine Pass II
    Expedition to the Hillsboro River
    Fort Brooke

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    In 1863, Charleston, South Carolina was the most contested port in the south. The southern states attacked the blockade fleet in January and repulsed an attack by Union ironclads in April. In July, the US Navy took part in the battles around Fort Wagner and Morris Island. Afro-American associations demonstrated their high morale and fighting power.

    The Union fleet was looking for ways to test their ironclad ships in the spring. For this purpose, small Confederate bases offered themselves, which could be expected to have little resistance and minimal damage to their own.

    The Confederates continued to experiment with new weapons. However, an experimental submarine , the HL Hunley , sank twice in Charleston Harbor.

    The CSS David with her spar torpedo

    Another newly developed Confederate weapon was the David . The boat equipped with a spar torpedo attacked the US armored ship New Ironsides in the waters off Charleston in October and damaged it severely.

    In Texas, the Confederates fought off a US Navy expedition to Sabine Pass . The Union succeeded in destroying a number of Confederation cargo ships in Florida.

    In the meantime, the CS Navy pirate cruisers, especially the Alabama and Florida , spread fear and terror among the ships of the US merchant navy in the open sea . The two ships built in England took a total of 97 prizes during their service time .


    Strategic and Political Development

    The most important event in the northern states should be the presidential election in the fall. The Union had not consistently exploited the great victories of the previous year. In all theaters of war, the armies faced each other in the positions they had reached in the previous year. The war fatigue grew because of the restrictions in the supply of the civilian population and the renewed drafting of conscripts as well as the increasing losses of the army. In the spring, the three-year-old volunteers were to be dismissed, who in their last months of service could no longer be incited to the greatest heroism. Another 500,000 conscripts were called up to cover the losses.

    The situation in the Confederation was considerably worse than it was a year earlier. The war in the west had to be seen as lost after the defeat at Chattanooga and in the east a difficult draw had been reached after the defeat at Gettysburg. There was no prospect of improvement in sight. The blockade by the US Navy continued to restrict the war goods manufacturing industry. The occupation of Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi led to food shortages and hunger among the population. In terms of foreign policy, the confederation was isolated. Only a few countries allowed southern ships to enter.

    The Confederation government tightened the Defense Act in February and allowed all men between the ages of 17 and 50 to be drafted. The soldiers whose term of service had expired were obliged to continue their military service. The greatest hope was the defeat of Lincoln in the presidential election and a possible negotiated peace that followed. The armies therefore had to offer as much resistance as possible. Braxton Bragg was replaced in the west as Commander in Chief of the Tennessee Army by General Joseph E. Johnston, who was regarded as a master of the defensive. Brigadier General John H. Morgan's breakout from prison in Ohio was celebrated frenetically. The Confederation armies, however, suffered from a severe shortage of horses.

    President Lincoln needed success to get re-elected. The most successful general in the northern states last year was Ulysses S. Grant, who had fought victoriously in the west. Lincoln appointed him Commander-in-Chief of the Army in March, with the consent of Congress, and made him lieutenant general. Grant moved into his headquarters "in the field" with the Potomac Army and ordered simultaneous attacks on all theaters of war. One of Grant's stated goals was to wear out the southerners. His reasoning was as simple as it is inhuman - the north would be able to make up for his losses, the south not - which earned Grant the name “the butcher”.

    In the west General William T. Sherman set out for the Atlanta campaign , in the east General George G. Meade for the overland campaign with 100,000 men each. In the west, Sherman pushed forward against the constantly evasive Johnston on Atlanta; in the east, General Lee managed to anticipate and successfully submit every move by the Potomac Army. The enormous losses suffered by the Union forced the leadership to use untried troops from all over the country in the various battles before the Battle of Cold Harbor . Meade managed a tactical surprise from Lee after the Battle of Cold Harbor. The Potomac Army bypassed the Northern Virginia Army and threatened the last lines of communication between Richmond and Petersburg. Lee reacted in time and the war in the east froze in the siege of Petersburg . The huge losses provided the advocates of a negotiated peace with new arguments in the upcoming election campaign. Sherman succeeded in taking Atlanta and thus the victorious end of his campaign.

    The fall of Atlanta was the much-needed success for Lincoln's re-election. Atlanta was an important trading and economic center and an important transport hub. Johnston's defensive strategy was successful against Sherman, only it did not lead to a decisive battle and was associated with constant loss of territory. President Davis replaced Johnston with the "aggressive" General John B. Hood . This personality did not prevent the fall of Atlantas. Sherman began the march to the Atlantic in the fall. On his way to the sea he left behind a strip of devastation up to 60 miles wide - towns, farms and plantations were looted, industrial plants and railroad systems were destroyed. Sherman invaded Savannah, Georgia in December. Lee sent Lieutenant General Jubal Earlys' Corps through the Shenandoah Valley towards Washington to relieve the Northern Virginia Army . The goal was not achieved and in pursuit of Early, Major General Sheridan systematically destroyed the Shenandoah Valley.

    The Democrats named George B. McClellan as their presidential candidate that summer. McClellan did not intend to end the war immediately, but did not insist on a victory over the Confederation, but wanted to achieve a negotiated peace. In the November election, incumbent Lincoln won with 55% of the votes cast. Only three states - Kentucky, New Jersey, and Delaware - did not vote for Lincoln. Vice-President became with the Democrat Andrew Johnson the only southern Senator and later military governor of Tennessee who remained loyal to the Union during the 1861 secession.

    The war year of 1864 cast its shadow over the events of the 20th century. The trench warfare, never before seen in this intensity, began in Cold Harbor and continued during the siege of Petersburg and in the fighting around Atlanta. Mine attacks against enemy positions were carried out. New weapons such as B. Mortars fired into the opposing positions day and night and led to further improvements in position construction. The destruction during the second Shenandoah campaign and Sherman's march to the sea became a military tactic. “ Scorched earth ” was intended not only to weaken the opposing army, but also to break the people's will to resist. In contrast to later “scorched earth” actions, personal attacks against the civilian population occurred only in exceptional cases during these two campaigns. The term "war of attrition" appeared for the first time in history.

    Theater of War Trans-Mississippi

    The two states west of the Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, continued to produce goods and exported them to Europe via Mexico in exchange for war-essential products. The Union had already tried unsuccessfully in the previous year to occupy these two states or at least to prevent trade. This year saw the Union's last unsuccessful attempts.

    Red River Campaign
    Fort De Russy - Mansfield - Pleasant Hill - Blairs Landing - Monetts Ferry - Mansura - Yellow Bayou
    Camden expedition
    Elkins Ferry - Prairie D'Ane - Poison Spring - Marks 'Mills - Jenkins' Ferry
    Price's expedition to Missouri
    Fort Davidson - Glasgow - Lexington - Little Blue River - Independence - Byrams Ford - Westport - Marais des Cygnes - Marmiton River - Mine Creek - Newtonia
    Expedition to Lake Village
    Old River Lake
    Sully's expedition against the Sioux in Dakota Territory
    Killdeer Mountain
    Sand Creek Campaign
    Sand creek (massacre)

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    Lt. Gen. E. Kirby Smith and Maj. General Frederick Steele faced each other at Arkansas earlier this year. Except for a few skirmishes, the front remained calm until spring. Major General Banks intended to take Shreveport , Louisiana, which at the time was the capital of Confederate Louisiana and the headquarters of E. Kirby Smith , in March . Steele should come to the aid of Banks from the north. Both campaigns were poorly coordinated, Steele left three weeks later than Banks and made slow progress. Banks conducted an amphibious operation along the Red River . Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter's gunboats could only insufficiently support Banks because of the low water level. Banks broke off the campaign after being defeated in the Battle of Mansfield , Louisiana by Major General Richard Taylor, a son of the twelfth US President. Smith defeated Steele in late April, who was evading with VII Corps to Little Rock , Arkansas. Both campaigns had failed.

    E. Kirby Smith intended to occupy Missouri in the fall. He did not expect much resistance, since the Missouri regiments loyal to the Union were active on all fronts. Smith's goal was to incite public opinion in the Union against the re-election of Lincoln through the occupation of Missouri and to draw the people of Missouri to the side of the Confederation. To do this, Major General Sterling Price and 12,000 soldiers of the newly established Missouri Army were supposed to take St. Louis, Missouri and supply themselves there. Price would then conquer Jefferson City , the capital of Missouri, and thus symbolically bring Missouri back into the Confederation. E. Kirby Smith then intended to return to Arkansas with the Missouri Army through Kansas and the Indian Territory with the confiscation of all horses, mules and other military goods found on the way.

    Every third soldier in the Missouri Army was unarmed at the start of the raid. Opposite Price was the XVI. US Corps under Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Smith, who was reinforced by Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton's cavalry division. From mid-October the Union set up the Border Army, which blocked the Missouri Army's path to the west. Price reached Arkansas with the defeated Army on December 2nd. The losses amounted to about 6,000 men. Price put the successes at around 3,000 prisoners, eighteen guns, and property damage worth $ 10,000,000. The raid was the last major combat operation in the theater of war.

    Guerrilla-militia skirmishes took place year-round in Missouri, Kansas and northern Arkansas. Lieutenant William "Bloody Bill" Anderson , like Colonel William C. Quantrill a militant, murdered 25 unarmed Union soldiers on September 27 after the pillage and pillage of the village of Centralia, Missouri, and 116 soldiers of the 39th Missouri Infantry Regiment that evening, that Anderson should ask. Frank and Jesse James , who were later wanted as criminals, were also involved in the murder, known as the " Anderson Massacre " .

    Brigadier General Alfred Sully carried out another punitive expedition against the Sioux in the Dakota Territory with around 2,500 soldiers. The resistance of the Indians was to be broken for good. Sully succeeded because of the superior weapon technology, especially the artillery, to drive the approximately 5,000 Indians to flight and defeat them after a nine-mile pursuit.

    Western theater of war

    Western theater of war 1864
    Operations in Northern Alabama
    Expeditions to Meridian and on the Yazoo
    Meridian - Okolona
    Distraction at Dalton
    Dalton I
    Atlanta Campaign
    Rocky Face Ridge - Resaca - Adairsville - New Hope Church - Dallas - Picketts Mill - Marietta - Kolbs Farm - Kennesaw Mountain - Peachtree Creek - Atlanta - Ezra Church - Utoy Creek - Dalton II - Lovejoys Station - Jonesborough
    Franklin-Nashville Campaign
    Allatoona - Decatur - Johnsonville - Columbia - Franklin - Murfreesboro - Nashville
    Savannah Campaign (Sherman's March to the Atlantic)
    Griswoldville - Buck Head Creek - Honey Hill - Waynesborough - Fort McAllister II
    Forrest's expedition to western Tennessee and Kentucky
    Paducah - Fort Pillow
    Morgan's Raid to Kentucky
    Forrest's Defense of Mississippi
    Brice's Cross Roads - Tupelo - Memphis
    Burbridge's raid into southwest Virginia
    Breckenridge's foray into eastern Tennessee
    Bulls Gap
    Stoneman's raid into southwestern Virginia
    Marion - Saltville

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    The Atlanta campaign dominated this year's operations. The fighting was not limited to Georgia, however. From Vicksburg, Mississippi, Major General Sherman attacked the Meridian , Mississippi rail junction in the Meridian Campaign in January . If things go well, Sherman intended to conquer Selma , Alabama, and from there to threaten Mobile , Alabama. At the same time, a cavalry division from Memphis, Tennessee was supposed to support Sherman's operations. The cavalry was to leave on February 1st and reach Meridian on February 10th with Sherman. Smith's cavalry did not begin marching until February 11th. She soon had to face Major General Forrest's Confederate Cavalry and move back to Memphis without reaching Meridian. Sherman met Lieutenant General Polk's ragged troops west of Meridian. Polk outnumbered them, but avoided the city anyway. Sherman destroyed the railroad facilities and any rolling stock he found in town. He broke off the campaign without having achieved his goals on February 20, because the cavalry did not join him, and returned to Vicksburg. The unreliability of the cavalry reinforced Sherman's view of the uselessness of the Union cavalry . General Johnston had to deploy two divisions of the Tennessee Army in support of Polk. Major General Thomas took advantage of this moment of weakness and unsuccessfully attacked the Tennessee Army with the Cumberland Army.

    Major General Sherman succeeded Grant in the western theater of war. At the same time as the Potomac Army's overland campaign in the east, Sherman began the Atlanta campaign in May. To this end, he used the Tennessee Army under Major General James B. McPhersons , the Ohio Army under Major General John M. Schofield and the Cumberland Army under Major General George H. Thomas, a total of about 112,000 men. His opponent was the Confederate Tennessee Army under Joseph E. Johnston with initially about 50,000, later 65,000 soldiers.

    Sherman advanced south along the Western and Atlantic Railroad (W&A). His goal was to destroy the Tennessee Confederate Army. Atlanta as a major industrial center and railroad hub was on the way and would fall into his hands after the destruction of the Tennessee Army. The W&A was the main supply line for the Union armies. Accordingly, it was frequently interrupted by Confederate cavalry raids. Sherman therefore posted a division to protect the railway line and the repair teams.

    Johnston presented himself with the Tennessee Army again and again during the campaign. He took advantage of the natural obstacles in the terrain in northern, mountainous Georgia and defended himself from field fortifications. Because the Union armies ran against these field fortifications mostly unsuccessfully, Sherman evaded the positions each time and forced Johnston to evade again. On Kennesaw Mountain , Johnston won one of the greatest victories of the campaign.

    Johnston thought the defense of Atlanta possible only with great losses and therefore intended not to defend the city. President Jefferson Davis seized this moment and relieved the unloved general of his command. Lieutenant General John B. Hood succeeded him and intended to attack and defeat the Union armies one by one. Hood's first two attacks against the Cumberland and Tennessee armies failed with high losses and fitted exactly into Sherman's strategy, which was better able to use his superiority in open battle than against buried troops. After several attempts at attack, Sherman began the siege of the city and marched in on September 3rd. He destroyed what the Confederates had left standing when they dodged and relocated the population.

    Hood marched north with the Tennessee Army that fall. He repeatedly attacked Sherman's supply lines, but without leaving any permanent damage, and invaded Tennessee. Hood intended by doing this to deter Sherman from further advance south and to lure him into his pursuit. Sherman tasked Major General Thomas with repelling the advance. He subordinated Thomas to Schofield's Ohio Army. Thomas ordered parts of his Tennessee Army to Nashville, Tennessee, to provide the Confederate Tennessee Army there at the latest, and pursued Hood with the rest of the troops. Hood worked closely with Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest during this advance, who was raiding southern Tennessee. A number of skirmishes ensued, all of which the Union was able to decide in its favor without exception. Thomas once and for all repelled Hood's advance at the Battle of Nashville , Tennessee in December. Hood evaded the defeated army to Tupelo , Mississippi.

    Sherman let his troops, with which he had conquered Atlanta, rest for the time being. He began the Savannah Campaign, better known as "Sherman's March to the Sea," on November 15th. Sherman believed that the war could only end if the strategic, economic, and psychological capabilities of the Confederation were severely weakened. He ordered his troops to feed on the land. Buildings of the military and sometimes also civil infrastructure were destroyed. From today's perspective, there were also war crimes on both sides. The Confederates opposed the march several times without success. The campaign ended on December 22nd with the capture of Savannah, Georgia.

    The year 1864 produced another Confederate hero. Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest led three large, ultimately unsuccessful raids to Tennessee. In two of them he tied up considerable Union forces; in the last, Forrest Hood's campaign to Nashville was unable to provide decisive support. Another raid to Kentucky that was celebrated in the south was that of the folk hero Morgan, who had escaped from a Union prison the previous year. The importance of the raids was that considerable troops were tied up on the other side. However, Morgan was killed in action in Tennessee on September 4, 1864.

    Eastern theater of war

    Eastern theater of war 1864
    Distraction at the Rapidan
    Morton's Ford
    Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid
    Bermuda Hundred Campaign
    Port Walthall Junction - Swift Creek - Chester Station - Proctor Creek - Ware Bottom Church
    Lynchburg campaign
    New Market - Piedmont - Lynchburg
    Crook-Averell Raid on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad Line
    Cloyds Mountain - Cove Mountain
    Overland campaign
    Wilderness - Spotsylvania Court House - Yellow Tavern - Wilsons Wharf - Haws Shop - North Anna - Totopotomoy Creek - Old Church - Cold Harbor - Trevilian Station - Saint Marys Church
    Richmond-Petersburg campaign
    Petersburg I - Petersburg II - Jerusalem Plank Road - Staunton River Bridge - Sappony Church - Reams Station I - Deep Bottom I - Battle of the Crater - Deep Bottom II - Globe Tavern - Reams Station II - Board Raid - New Market Heights - Peebles Farm - Darby Town & New Market Roads - Darbytown Road - Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road - Boydton Plank Road
    Earlys raid and operations against the B&O railway line
    Monocacy - Fort Stevens - Cool Spring - Rutherfords Farm - Kernstown II - Folcks Mill - Moorefield
    Sheridan's campaign in Shenandoah Valley
    Guard Hill - Summit Point - Smithfield Crossing - Berryville - Opequon - Fishers Hill - Toms Brook - Cedar Creek

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    The armies faced each other again at the Rappahannock at the beginning of the year. The fronts were calm, there were only isolated firefights. There were also isolated skirmishes in the Shenandoah Valley and on the North Carolina coast.

    The government in Washington wanted to send a political signal with a raid on Richmond: 15,000 prisoners were to be freed and Lincoln's amnesty decree distributed to the residents. The Potomac Army initially conducted a diversion on Rapidan before Maj. General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick left for the raid in late February. The raid failed, among other things. because of a lack of coordination between the two attack columns. Kilpatrick was transferred to the west. In early April, Major General Philip H. Sheridan took command of the Potomac Army's cavalry corps.

    Lieutenant General Grant had three armies available for his plans. The strongest army with approximately 122,000 soldiers was the Potomac Army under Major General Meade. The other two armies were the James Army with 33,000 soldiers in the east of the peninsula and the West Virginia Army with 10,000 soldiers in the Shenandoah Valley. These two were led by the "political" generals Benjamin Butler and Franz Sigel. Grant intended with these three armies and a raid to disrupt the Confederate supply lines to attack the armies of Generals Lee and Beauregard.

    The Northern Virginia Army had to surrender Lieutenant General James Longstreets' corps to the western theater of war in the fall. General Lee had around 60,000 soldiers at the end of April, and General Beauregard, in defense of Richmond, had 20,000 soldiers.

    Grant ordered the attack in early May. The Potomac Army was to attack and destroy the Northern Virginia Army, the James Army was to permanently interrupt the Confederate supply lines east of Richmond, the West Virginia Army was to bind the Confederate troops in the Shenandoah Valley and through the raid the Virginia & Tennessee Railway Line should be in southwestern Virginia are permanently interrupted.

    The Bermuda Hundred campaign failed despite some five-fold superiority. Beauregard managed to keep Butler's army at bay with little strength and was even able to reinforce Lee during the Battle of Cold Harbor. The Lynchburg campaign failed in the first attempt, the Commander-in-Chief Sigel was replaced by Major General David Hunter. Hunter almost reached Lynchburg, the goal of the campaign. However, the rapprochement lasted so long that in the meantime Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early had reached the Shenandoah Valley and threw the Union troops back across the Potomac. The raid on the Virginia & Tennessee railroad led to the destruction of the bridge over the New River .

    The Potomac Army attacked the Northern Virginia Army in the Chancellorsville area. The battle in the Wilderness ended in a draw. Lieutenant General Longstreet arrived on the second day of the battle, saved the tie and was wounded in the process. Major General Richard H. Anderson took over the corps. Unlike other generals before him, Grant did not end the campaign after the defeat in the Wilderness, but ordered Meade to continue attacking. To do this, Grant used the same means as Sherman during the Atlanta campaign - Grant tried to encompass the enemy. The enclosure did not succeed. Lee had foreseen the movement of the Potomac Army and had the Northern Virginia Army re-buried at Spotsylvania Court House . Major General Sheridan was to cut the Northern Virginia Army supply lines at the same time. At Beaver Dam Creek and Mechanicsville, he met the cavalry of the Northern Virginia Army under Major General JEB Stuart. Stuart fell in the last great horse battle at the Yellow Tavern . Sheridan couldn't do his job.

    The Potomac Army attacked Lee again near Spotsylvania CH. The soldiers managed to break into the Confederate positions with bayonet attacks - the famous “Stonewall” brigade was almost completely taken prisoner. The Northern Virginia Army dodged again before the Northerners could expand their success and dug in again at North Anna.

    The Potomac Army tried again to bypass the positions of the Northern Virginia Army. At North Anna, the Confederates missed the opportunity to destroy two Union corps. During the next bypass attempt, Sheridan's horsemen occupied and held the important intersection at Cold Harbor. The Northern Virginia Army had dug in again. The frontal attack by three corps collapsed in Confederate fire. The two armies faced each other for a week. The days and nights of the soldiers were marked by fire attacks with artillery and mortars, raiding troops, sniper missions and night attacks. General Grant finally managed to leave the positions unnoticed by the Confederates. The Potomac Army crossed the James and advanced on Petersburg. One day late, General Lee was just able to get the Northern Virginia Army into position around Petersburg and repel the first attacks by the Potomac Army.

    The overland campaign was over. Grant's theory that the North would survive a war of attrition better than the South had been confirmed. The Potomac Army lost about 55,000 men. The Potomac Army's ability to attack was limited, despite the replenishment of the losses, as the soldiers supplied were either inexperienced fortress troops or recruits. The Northern Virginia Army lost approximately 30,000 soldiers. The south could only partially replace the losses with recruits and convalescents.

    The Potomac and James Armies began the siege of Petersburg on June 15, which in the sense of the word was not a siege in which one city was completely cut off. After the unsuccessful attack attempts by the Potomac Army, the two sides faced each other in field fortifications. The positions eventually extended 30 miles. During the siege there were repeated attacks by several corps of the Union armies on the Confederate positions. The attempt by Major General Burnsides to get under the Confederate positions and to blow them up by means of a tunnel became famous. The detonation killed around 300 Confederates, the subsequent poorly coordinated attack by federal troops collapsed in the fire of the Confederate reserves. The fighting and battles continued until the spring of the next year. The Northern Virginia Army held positions in front of Petersburg until the end of the year.

    During the Battle of Cold Harbor, General Lee had commissioned Lieutenant General Early with the II Corps to drive Hunter out of the Shenandoah Valley and to interrupt the Baltimore & Ohio railway line. The further advance through Maryland towards Washington left Lee at the discretion of Early. This was to force Grant to deploy Potomac Army troops to protect Washington, thereby relieving pressure on the Northern Virginia Army. Grant commanded Major General Horatio G. Wrights VI. Corps for defense against Earlys to Washington.

    Early led the campaign similar to Jackson two years earlier - after great marches it struck surprisingly and disappeared again. Early refrained from attacking Washington because he was too weak. Parts of the cavalry rode to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and demanded gold worth $ 100,000. When the citizens couldn't muster that up, the Confederates burned the city down.

    Grant wanted to eliminate the "trouble spot Early" and appointed the commanding general of the Cavalry Corps of the Potomac Army Major General Philip Sheridan as Commander in Chief of the Shenandoah Army. The VI. and the XIX. Corps, three cavalry divisions and all units of Major General Hunters. Sheridan proceeded very carefully so as not to cause failure in Lincoln's election campaign. At Cedar Creek, the Shenandoah Army won the decisive victory over Early. Washington was no longer threatened. Sheridan, like Sherman, used the scorched earth tactic in the Shenandoah Valley. Sheridan returned to the Potomac Army and took part in the siege of Petersburg. By the end of the year Early had to hand over almost all of his troops to General Lee, which were deployed near Petersburg. Early himself remained in the Shenandoah Valley.

    Naval warfare

    Florida expedition
    Operations against New Bern and Plymouth
    New Bern - Plymouth - Albemarle Sound
    Operations in Mobile Bay
    Mobile Bay

    Expedition against Fort Fisher
    Fort Fisher

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    After two failed attempts with the HL Hunley test submarine, the Confederates succeeded in the first successful submarine attack in history in February 1864. The Hunley attacked the Housatonic with a spar torpedo and sank them. The submarine was also lost in the attack. Presumably the crew was killed by the shock wave.

    In April the Confederates put the ironclad Albemarle into service, which was instrumental in the retaking of Plymouth , North Carolina. The Albemarle effectively secured the Roanoke in the period that followed . Only the sinking of the ship in October by an attack with spar torpedoes made it possible for the northern states to recapture Plymouth.

    The Hunley (illustration by R. G. Skerrett, 1902)

    In August 1864, a fleet under Admiral Farragut attacked the Confederate fortifications and ships off Mobile. The Battle of Mobile Bay turned into a great Northern victory: the forts Morgan and Gaines at the entrance to the bay were occupied by land troops, and the ships of the Confederate flotilla in the bay, including the ironclad Tennessee , were all sunk, captured, or used Forced to flee. The Confederate ships commander, Admiral Franklin Buchanan, was wounded and captured. Mobile itself remained in Confederate hands until April 1865, but was blocked from then on. Farragut was promoted to the newly created rank of Vice Admiral for his services .

    In late 1864, Wilmington , North Carolina was the main remaining Confederate port on the east coast. The northern states attacked Fort Fisher , which guarded the city, in December , but were repulsed. The Navy of the Northern States achieved further successes on the open sea: on June 19, the frigate USS Kearsarge sank the dreaded CSS Alabama off Cherbourg , and on October 7, the CSS Florida was captured by the USS Wachusett in the waters of Bahia , Brazil . The attacks by Confederate cruisers continued: In August 1864, the CSS Tallahassee attacked northern merchant ships, and on October 19, the Confederates put the England-built CSS Shenandoah into service.


    Strategic and Political Development

    The Confederation's military situation was desperate. The armies in the west were defeated, in the east the Northern Virginia Army defended the area around Petersburg against the Potomac Army, which was more than twice as strong, the Shenandoah Valley was under the control of the federal troops and in the south the Carolinas and Virginia were under the control of the troops Shermans threatened. On January 31, General Lee became Commander in Chief of the Confederate Army.

    The economic situation was equally dire. With Wilmington, North Carolina, the confederation had only one seaport, in the west the southern states were divided after the fall of Atlanta and the supply routes with the west had collapsed, agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley, formerly the bread basket of the south, largely destroyed and the few Usable railway lines ran from east to west via Petersburg to Richmond in western Virginia. The people were starving and the soldiers had to make do with everything.

    President Lincoln intended to enact the 13th Amendment in early January. Against bitter resistance from the House of Representatives, this only succeeded on January 31. The abolition of slavery only now became an official war goal. Although it was clear to everyone in the southern states after Lincoln's re-election that a negotiated peace had become impossible, the introduction of the 13th Amendment led to the realization that the economic system of the south was at an end after the victory of the northern states. This led to two opposing reactions: many soldiers deserted because there was nothing left to gain, and others continued to fight according to the motto "now more than ever".

    The last seaport of Wilmington fell on February 22nd. At the same time, Sherman began attacking Virginia through the Carolinas. The Southern Congress passed federal law on February 10th in Lee's call for slaves to be called up for military service. The law came into force on March 13, against stiff opposition, and came too late; no colored regiment was used any more. Voters in Tennessee, although long occupied by US troops and still a member state of the Confederation, voted for the abolition of slavery. Lincoln promised the southern states in his opening speech at the beginning of the second term that he would treat them with indulgence.

    The Potomac Army took up the last offensive at the end of March with up to five-fold superiority. Lee decided to avoid being encircled by giving up Petersburg and Richmond and uniting with General Johnston in western Virginia. Detained at Appomattox Court House by the Potomac Army , the Northern Virginia Army surrendered on April 9th. Johnston surrendered on April 20, in Alabama Generals Taylor and Forrest surrendered on May 8 and 9, and in the west General Kirby Smith on June 2 and Brigadier General Stand Watie on June 23. The last Confederation warship surrendered on November 4th in Liverpool , Great Britain.

    President Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th by John Wilkes Booth . He was succeeded by Vice President Andrew Johnson, who continued Lincoln’s policy. The Northern states celebrated the victory with a troop parade of several armies on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on May 23rd and 24th. President Jefferson Davis, who fled Richmond with the Confederate government on April 5, hoped to reform the Texas government and carry on the war from there to victory. He was captured on the run on May 10 and imprisoned for two years. President Johnson ordered the prisoners of war to be released. In November a court martial sentenced the commander of the Andersonville POW camp to death as a war criminal as the only soldier in the South: Henry Wirz was hanged on November 10th.

    Theater of War Trans-Mississippi

    The Union troops turned their main focus on fighting the Confederate irregulars and border bandits. After Lee's surrender, there were a number of skirmishes and shootings, some with regular Confederate forces. Major General John Pope had been in command of the Missouri Military Area since January 31.

    Expedition from Brazos Santiago
    Palmito Ranch
    red: Confederation victory

    The last stand of the Civil War took place in May on the Rio Grande in Texas. Both sides agreed on a non-aggression pact there in March. The US commander nevertheless attacked the Confederate outposts. Eyewitnesses reported that Mexican government forces crossed the Rio Grande but did not participate in the shootings. It is not certain whether during the actions on the Rio Grande Confederates fired at US units from the Mexican bank of the Rio Grande or whether Mexican government troops took part in the action from there. The commander in chief of the Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, General Edmund Kirby Smith, surrendered on June 2 in Galveston, Texas. Brigadier Stand Watie, a Cherokee Indian, surrendered as the last Confederate commander on June 23.

    Western theater of war

    Western theater of war 1865

    The Tennessee Army was the last major Confederation in the theater of war. The army had lost around 20,000 men in the fighting over the past two months. The new Commander in Chief, Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, was given the task of defending the Carolinas against Major General Sherman. There General Johnston took over the command, Taylor remained in the west.

    Mobile campaign
    Spanish Fort - Fort Blakely
    Wilson's raid in Alabama and Georgia

    blue: victory of the Union  

    As in Trans-Mississippi, Tennessee in particular has seen a lot of small-scale skirmishes, skirmishes, and local raids. The last major city not yet in the hands of the Union was Mobile, Alabama. The attack began from the north and east in mid-March and resulted in the fall of the city on April 11th. The most important industrial location after Richmond, Virginia of the Confederation was Selma , Alabama. The city was supposed to be destroyed by a raid that began on March 22nd. Lieutenant General Forrest, who is considered invincible, defended the city. The Union forces under the command of Brevet Major General James Harrison Wilson defeated Forrest in the Battle of Selma and largely destroyed Selma. On April 12, they occupied the first Confederation capital, Montgomery, Alabama.

    Lieutenant General Richard Taylor and Nathan Bedford Forrest surrendered on May 8 and 9, 1865.

    Eastern theater of war

    Eastern theater of war 1865
    Continuation of the Richmond-Petersburg campaign
    Hatchers Run - Fort Stedman
    Carolina Campaign
    Rivers' Bridge - Wyse Fork - Monroes Cross Roads - Averasborough - Bentonville
    Sheridan's expedition to Petersburg
    Appomattox campaign
    Lewis' Farm - White Oak Road - Dinwiddie Court House - Five Forks - Petersburg III - Sutherlands Station - Namozine Church - Amelia Springs - Saylor's Creek - Cumberland Church - High Bridge - Appomattox Station - Appomattox Court House

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    The war ended in the state where the first major battle had taken place three and three quarters of years ago - Virginia. The Northern Virginia and Potomac armies faced each other in expanded positions near Petersburg. Lieutenant General Grant tried, as during the overland campaign, to outflank the southerners' positions on the left and to interrupt their supply lines. The positions extended over thirty miles around Petersburg in January. General Lee had fought off attempts to bypass the Northern Virginia Army by March. The difficulties in manning the positions, however, grew more and more. The Northern Virginia Army's final attempt to break through Grant's lines and destroy the Union supply depot failed in the Union's deep trenches on March 25.

    The Tennessee Army reached northern South Carolina in February. General Johnston took command of all troops in the Carolinas and formed the Southern Army with them. The workforce was around 10,000 in mid-March and around 15,000 in mid-April.

    Grant had initially ordered Sherman to embark his army and reinforce the Potomac army off Petersburg. Sherman convinced Grant that a campaign through the Carolinas, similar to the march to the sea, would hit the Confederation more severely. Sherman intended to bypass the small garrisons on the Carolina coast and capture the capital of South Carolina, Columbia. He then wanted to march to Virginia and threaten the Northern Virginia Army in the rear. During the campaign, the scorched earth principle was to be reapplied. The strength of Sherman's armed forces was around 60,000 on February 1 and around 90,000 on April 1.

    Major General Sherman began advancing through the Carolinas from Savannah, Georgia with the three armies - Tennessee, Ohio, and Georgia Armies - in late January. The advancing units were repeatedly confronted by parts of the Southern Army, successfully short-term but hopelessly inferior. Columbia, South Carolina fell on February 17th. On March 19, Johnston succeeded in concentrating his entire armed forces at Bentonville, North Carolina and slowing Sherman's advance again.

    In the south of the Shenandoah Valley, Lieutenant General Early's small force of approx. 1,600 men held its own until February and blocked the way of Major General Sheridan's cavalry divisions over the passes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sheridan attacked the Confederates on March 2nd near Waynesboro , Virginia, crushing Early's forces. Sheridan reached the Potomac Army on March 26th and was instrumental in the Appomattox campaign .

    After the attack on Fort Stedman, General Lee was unable to defend the positions and decided to give up Petersburg and Richmond, which had meanwhile become an industrial center. He intended to move to Lynchburg , Virginia and refresh the Northern Virginia Army with supplies stored there. After that, Lee wanted to unite with General Johnston in northern North Carolina and then jointly beat Sherman and then Grant.

    Lieutenant General Grant began the Appomattox campaign on March 29th. First he tried again to outflank the Northern Virginia Army on the left. In the decisive battle at Five Forks on April 1, Grant succeeded in disrupting the Southern Railroad, the main supply line for the Northern Virginia Army. On April 2nd, Major General Meade made his breakthrough in Petersburg. Lee evacuated Richmond and the Petersburg positions across the Appomattox to the west. Grant pursued the evasive Northern Virginia Army partially overtaking and forced daily battles on it. In the fighting at Saylor's Creek on April 6, the Northern Virginia Army lost a quarter of its manpower. Brevet Major General Custers Division relocated Lee's army on April 8. General Lee surrendered on April 9th. Grant discharged the soldiers of the Northern Virginia Army on their word of honor.

    General Johnston had not succeeded in slowing Sherman's advance in a sustained manner. Johnston agreed to a ceasefire on April 18 near Raleigh, North Carolina and surrendered on April 26 with all Carolinas, Georgia and Florida forces.

    The war in the eastern theater of war was over.

    Naval warfare

    Operations against Fort Fisher and Wilmington
    Fort Fisher - Wilmington
    Surgery at St. Marks, Florida
    Natural Bridge

    blue: Union   victory red: Confederation victory

    In early January 1865, an amphibious expeditionary force again attacked Fort Fisher, which was captured this time. Wilmington, one of the major ports on the east coast of the southern states, was also blocked and was occupied by the northern states a month later. Four days before Wilmington, on February 18, 1865, the long-contested Charleston had been evacuated as part of Sherman's Carolina campaign. The last amphibious operation of the war was carried out by Union forces in the Florida Panhandle on St. Marks on March 6th. Galveston, Texas fell with the surrender of E. Kirby Smith on June 2nd.

    The Sultana

    In the open sea, however, the CSS Shenandoah continued to hunt Union merchant ships. The ship, under the command of James I. Waddell, attacked the US whaling fleet in the Pacific in the summer and fired the last shots of the war. Waddell learned of the Confederate surrender from a British ship in August. He decided to go to England. In Liverpool, the Shenandoah, the last ship of the Confederate Navy , lowered its flag on November 6, 1865 and gave up.

    On the Mississippi, shortly after the end of hostilities, the worst shipping disaster to date in the history of US shipping occurred : The paddle steamer Sultana , overloaded with exchanged US prisoners, sank on April 27 as a result of an explosion in its boiler. An estimated 1,700 people were killed. It could never be determined whether it was an accident or an attack.


    War victims and destruction

    Richmond Ruins, 1865. Photograph by Mathew Brady .

    At least 620,000 soldiers were killed in the American Civil War, 360,000 from the northern states and 260,000 from the southern states. These figures are based on counts based on loss reports, retirement forms, and applications for widows 'and orphans' pensions. For the southern states, however, this information was often missing, so that the number of 260,000 killed is only a rough approximation. An alternative method of calculation estimates the number of deaths statistically by calculating the deviation of the death rate of men of military age from the norm from census data. This calculation method suggests an interval of 650,000–850,000 victims for able-bodied men, with 750,000 being the most likely scenario. The number of civilian casualties is estimated at around 50,000, the vast majority of them in the south.

    In the south, where the brunt of the fighting took place, eleven cities were destroyed or badly damaged. This was around 7% of the Confederate cities, but included major population centers such as Charleston and Columbia in South Carolina and Richmond in Virginia. In addition, 45 courthouses in the Confederation were destroyed as a result of acts of war. The value of agricultural machinery and equipment in the south fell 43% between 1860 and 1870. The railway lines were also badly affected during the war, but recovered relatively quickly after the end of the war.


    This is the White Man's Government , caricature Thomas Nast , 1868. Depiction: Three men hold an African American man on the ground and prevent him from reaching the ballot box. It is a stereotypical Irishman from New York, the former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest (leader of the Ku Klux Klan ) and the Democratic politician August Belmont . The Lost Cause is written on the knife in Forrest's hand .

    As Reconstruction in the US, the phase of the reintegration of the southern states is known to the Union of the United States of America after the Civil War. It began during the war in 1863 and lasted until 1877. Translating the term “reconstruction” with “restoration of the original state” does not seem sufficient. It includes both the content of reconstruction and reshaping as well as the technical term "new construction". The "Reconstruction" included, among other things, the political and economic reintegration into the Union of the states that had left the Union, the criminal and social treatment of the leaders of the Confederation as well as the constitutional and legal status of those freed from slavery. The treatment of these issues led to violent controversy.

    The first phase of reconstruction is known as Presidential Reconstruction , as it was largely shaped by President Andrew Johnson . Johnson, himself a southerner who remained loyal to the Union, initially pursued a lenient strategy with the South. He quickly demobilized the army, returned confiscated land to its owners, and gave the South a free hand in handling the former slaves. The southern states refused to give freed slaves the right to vote, and white voters mostly voted for former Confederates in the first post-war elections in the summer and fall of 1865. The state parliaments of the defeated southern states passed the first black codes , and violence erupted in response to the freed slaves' demands for suffrage and land. The public sentiment that had initially supported Johnson's course now turned against the president. Radical Republicans like Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner argued that the Reconstruction was incomplete until blacks had the right to vote. Stevens even called for the land to be confiscated from disloyal planters and given to freed slaves in order to destroy the basic structure of southern society.

    In response to Johnson's policies, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act in 1867 , heralding the second phase of reconstruction, the Congressional Reconstruction . The south was divided into five military districts and the states were not allowed to re-join the Union until all white citizens had the right to vote. These provisions helped Republicans win elections in the South in the years that followed and made it possible for blacks to hold public office for the first time. The southern states received new constitutions which prescribed equality before the law and gave the state a more active role, for example in school policy. In Texas, for example, a State Board of Education and a Police Department were established during this time . This increased provision of public goods by the state was very controversial in the southern states. The taxes required for this were mainly collected from white landowners, and the white population was of the opinion that blacks benefited disproportionately from them. In response to this, there was political resistance, but also increased violence against black people, for example by the Ku Klux Klan . The government of Ulysses S. Grant , which came into office in 1869 , initially acted vigorously and successfully. These successes were short-lived, however, and black voters were systematically intimidated in several southern states, which helped the Democratic Party return to power in Alabama in 1874 and Mississippi in 1875, among others. This was also made possible by the fact that public interest in the United States turned south after the panic of 1873 . The South gradually fell back to the Democratic Party, which reversed large parts of the previously adopted measures.

    In the course of the controversial presidential election of 1876, there was a compromise between Democrats and Republicans, with which the Reconstruction finally ended: the Democrats accepted the election of Republican Hayes as president, in return the last federal troops were withdrawn from the south.

    The three “Reconstruction” amendments to the constitution had the longest lasting effect . The 13th abolished slavery, the 14th extended protection of citizens to all races, and the 15th abolished racial restrictions in elections. The latter, however, was undermined by dialing restrictions mainly from the turn of the century in the southern states that the right to vote on literacy ( literacy tests ) or paying poll taxes ( poll taxes knüpften). In fact, these measures mainly excluded blacks and poor whites from voting, thereby cementing the Democratic Party's local monopoly of power. It was not until the civil rights movement after World War II and the passing of the Voting Rights Act 1965 made such restrictions on voting rights illegal.

    The Reconstruction failed altogether to break the power of südstaatlichen elite at the state level. The land-owning planter elite were not expropriated, plantations remained largely intact and were now based on the cheap labor of the landless former slaves. With the end of the Reconstruction, the planters again set the tone politically. In Texas, for example, as recently as the late 1890s, more than half of the state legislature were former slave owners or their descendants. Southern legislation reflected this: the south remained a low-wage economy based on labor-intensive agriculture. As a result, the region invested little in general education and tried rather to hinder the mobility of agricultural workers. As a result, the South remained economically underdeveloped compared to the rest of the United States well into the 20th century.

    National politics

    With the victory of the North, the nature and politics of the United States changed significantly. The old Jeffersonian ideals, according to which the constitution should be interpreted as narrowly as possible and the central government should have as little power as possible, were no longer upheld. Instead, the power of the federal government was further expanded: If eleven of the first twelve constitutional amendments (see also Bill of Rights ) weakened the central government, its position was strengthened by six of the next seven constitutional amendments. The Civil War brought the first national income tax, the first general conscription (ironically on the southern side), and expanded jurisdiction of the federal courts. This change was also evident in the language: Before the Civil War, Americans spoke of the United States in the plural ( the United States are ... ), after the war this changed to the singular ( the United States is ... ). At the national level, the Union's victory also drastically changed the balance of power. Before the war, the South had a clear political preponderance, which was expressed, among other things, in the fact that the majority of the presidents, spokesmen for the United States House of Representatives and judges at the Supreme Court came from the slave-holding states . For fifty years after the war, no southerner held the office of president. At the national level, the Republican Party was also able to benefit: the next Democratic president after James Buchanan (before Abraham Lincoln) was Grover Cleveland . He was elected president in 1884, almost 20 years after the end of the civil war. At the same time, after the end of the Reconstruction, the South remained the stronghold of the Democrats as Solid South until the 1960s.

    With the 13th amendment the slaves had achieved their freedom, the constitutional amendments 14 and 15 gave them citizenship and the right to vote. Nevertheless, African Americans in the South continued to face discrimination and racial segregation, as evidenced by the Supreme Court ruling in the Plessy v. Ferguson (Separate but equal) was de facto confirmed.


    In the north and south, veterans' associations kept memories of the civil war alive. Former war veterans from the north and south met together in 1913 and 1938 in Gettysburg on the occasion of the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the battle there. Six survivors attended the last Civil War Veterans Meeting, held in Indianapolis on August 28, 1949 . The last soldier known to have actively participated in the American Civil War was James Hard , who died on March 12, 1953 at the age of 111.

    The Lost Cause

    The expression "The Lost Cause" (lit. "The Lost Cause") describes a revisionist understanding of history that developed among the white population of the southern states following the defeat. With the "Lost Cause" many white southerners were able to portray the defeat as out of their control and as a betrayal of their heroes. The term "lost cause" for this mindset goes back to the book The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates published by Edward Pollard in 1866 . The main principles of the "Lost Cause" were:

    1. The main reason for secession was not to maintain slavery, but to defend state rights.
    2. The secession was the constitutional and lawful answer to the northern cultural and economic attacks on the "Southern way of life".
    3. Confederate generals like Lee or Jackson embodied the virtues of the southern aristocracy against most Union generals, whose low moral standards had led to degrading acts like Sherman's march at sea or Sheridan's destruction in the Shenandoah valley.
    4. The defeats on the battlefield were an inevitable consequence of the North's superiority in strength and resources.
    5. But defeats were also the result of betrayal and incompetence of individual subordinates of General Lee.

    In the memory of many people, Lee remained the leader whose soldiers walked through fire for him. At the same time, Lee portrayed the ideal of a southern gentleman, a man who selflessly and godly served Virginia and the Confederation. Lee's tactical brilliance at Bull Run and Chancellorsville and his declaration that he was solely to blame for the defeat at Gettysburg made Lee a living legend. For a long time Lee was considered inviolable and historians left him out of critical remarks.

    Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early wrote many articles for the Southern Historical Society in the 1870s. The "Lost Cause" became a long-lasting literary and cultural phenomenon. Early had identified Lieutenant General James Longstreet as the chief traitor, whose behavior, contrary to Lee's instructions, had brought about the defeat on the second and third days of the Battle of Gettysburg. Lee never expressed his dissatisfaction with Longstreet's behavior. Longstreet was also a suitable traitor because he worked with President Grant after the war and joined the Republican Party. Grant accepted the political myth because he wanted to avoid spreading over and over again the arguments that had heated the minds before the war began.

    The appearance of the Lee biography Douglas Southall Freemans in 1934 rekindled the "lost cause" mentality. In the four-volume work, Freeman blamed other subordinates of Lee's other subordinates such as Richard Ewell , JEB Stuart, A. P. Hill , George Pickett and even Jubal Early. Freeman relied on "previously unknown data" from the "Southern Historical Society". The view from the "Lost Cause" perspective also influenced Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone With the Wind from 1936 or DW Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation from 1915. The theses of the "Lost Cause" received new attention through the "New Confederate Movement" of the late 20th century.

    In today's historiography, the "lost cause" is considered obsolete. In the white population, especially in the south, however, it continues to have a significant impact on the perception of the civil war. The right-wing extremist demonstrations in Charlottesville in 2017 against the removal of an equestrian statue for Robert E. Lee showed the strong emotions that can still be mobilized with the help of the "Lost Cause" more than 150 years after the end of the war.


    Immediately after the end of the Civil War, a phase of romantic transfiguration of the “old south” began in the literary scene of the south; Poets like Thomas Nelson Page or (posthumously) Henry Timrod found a large audience here and contributed to the stylization of the Lost Cause. Beginning at the end of the 19th century, the Civil War also became a generally popular topic in music, novels, and films; later the Civil War was also used as material for comics and video games. Jules Verne made the Civil War of 1887 the subject of his novel North Against South . Just like Margaret Mitchell in her 1937 novel Gone With the Wind (filmed in 1939), William Faulkner, as the most important representative of a style known as the Southern Renaissance , repeatedly spoke in his works of the lost culture of the old (pre-war) South and the influence of the lost civil war on the south and its society apart. Likewise, the 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation treated the Civil War and the subsequent Reconstruction phase. Subsequently, the Civil War also became a common background material for Westerns.

    Film adaptations

    The following films are about the Civil War (selection):


    See also

    Portal: Civil War  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of Civil War


    Primary sources

    • United States. War Dept .: The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies , Govt. Print. Off., Washington 1880–1901, 128 vol. ( Online here )
    • Southern Historical Society Papers CD-Rom, H-Bar Enterprises 1st Edition, 1997, ISBN 0-7639-0084-2 .
    • Clarence Buel, Robert Underwood Johnson (Eds.): Battles and Leaders of the Civil War , Century Co, New York, 4 volumes, 1884–1888 (reports from those directly involved, online at eHistory ).


    • Victor Austin (Ed.): The American Civil War in Eyewitness Accounts . 2nd Edition. Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, Munich 1976, ISBN 3-423-00964-0 .
    • Marc Boatner III: Civil War Dictionary , first 1959, Vintage Books 1991, ISBN 0-679-73392-2 .
    • William C. Davis : The American Civil War - Soldiers, Generals, Battles . Motorbuch, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-8289-0384-3 .
    • Frederick Dyer: Compendium of the Civil War , Morningside Bookshop, 1978, ISBN 0-89029-046-6 .
    • David J. Eicher : The Civil War in Books: An Analytical Bibliography , 1997, ISBN 0-252-02273-4 . (Annotated Bibliography)
    • John H. Eicher and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press , 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3 .
    • William F. Fox: Regimental Losses in the American Civil War: A Treatise on the Extent and Nature of the Mortuary Losses in the Union Regiments , et al., 2002, ISBN 1-932157-07-7 .
    • David S. and Jeanne T. Heidler (Eds.): Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: a political, social, and military history . 5 volumes. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, Calif. 2000, ISBN 0-393-04758-X .
    • Bernd G. Längin : The American Civil War. A chronicle in pictures - day after day. Bechtermünz, Augsburg 2000, ISBN 3-86047-900-8 , also Weltbild, Augsburg 1998 (richly illustrated, but without register).
    • James M. McPherson (Ed.): The Atlas of the Civil War , Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia 2005, ISBN 0-7624-2356-0 (many maps, descriptions of the course of the war, selected battles and photos).

    Summarizing presentations

    • Giampiero Carocci: Brief History of the American Civil War. The break-in of industry in the war trade , Klaus Wagenbach Verlag, Taschenbuch 281, German first edition, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-8031-2281-3 .
    • Bruce Catton The Centennial History of the Civil War , Garden City, Volume 1 The coming fury 1961, Volume 2 Terrible swift sword 1963, Volume 3 Never Call Retreat 1965, all three volumes in Pocket Book 1967.
    • Shelby Foote : The Civil War. A Narrative , 3 vols., New York 1958–1974, ISBN 0-7126-9812-4 (very well-written representation of the war, even if without a technical apparatus).
    • Michael Hochgeschwender : The American Civil War. Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-56251-8 .
    • Leah Ireland-Kunze: The Civil War in the USA . Military publishing house of the German Democratic Republic, Berlin 1989.
    • Marcus Junkelmann : The American Civil War 1861-1865 , Weltbild, Augsburg 1992, ISBN 3-89350-355-2 .
    • John Keegan The American Civil War , Rowohlt, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-87134-668-2 (Original title: The American Civil War: A military history, translated by Hainer Kober).
    • James M. McPherson : Die for Freedom. The history of the American civil war, List, Berlin, ISBN 3-471-78178-1 , also Weltbild Verlag, Augsburg 2000, and Anaconda-Verlag, Cologne 2011, ISBN 978-3-86647-267-9 ; English original Battle Cry of Freedom. The Civil War Era, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0 (The author received the Pulitzer Prize for this . The best one-volume account of the war, which also goes into detail on the causes).
    • Brian Holden Reid : The American Civil War and the Wars of European Union. Brandenburgisches Verlagshaus, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-89488-130-5 .
    • Udo Sautter : The American Civil War 1861-1865 , Scientific Book Society Darmstadt, Darmstadt / Theiss, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-534-21970-4 (WGD) / ISBN 978-3-8062-2232-6 (Theiss).
    • In addition to the books by Bruce Catton mentioned, his biography of Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Potomac trilogy as well as: James Ford Rhodes History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Compromise of 1877 , David M. Potter The impending crisis 1848–1861 , Allan Nevins with his eight-volume description Ordeal of the Union , The Emergence of Lincoln , The War for the Union , Douglas Southall Freeman R. E. Lee , Lee's Lieutenant’s

    Web links

    Commons : Civil War  - collection of images, videos and audio files
    Wikisource: American Civil War  - Sources and Full Texts
    Wiktionary: Civil War  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

    Individual evidence

    1. a b c d Strengths and Losses of the Union and the Confederation
    2. of Latin secessio , see also secession , more common in the US designations War Between the States (War Between the States) or War of the Rebellion (Rebellion War) .
    3. ^ The Thomas Jefferson Papers Series 1st General Correspondence . 1651–1827 Letter from Jefferson to John Holmes, April 22, 1820
    4. James M. McPherson: This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War , Oxford University Press, New York 2007, p. 7.
    5. Brian Holden Reid: The American Civil War and the European Wars of Unification. Brandenburgisches Verlagshaus, Berlin, 2000, p. 62.
    6. Heinz-Jürgen Nürrenbach: Abraham Lincoln - an American myth. University of the 3rd age at the Goethe University Frankfurt a. M. 2010, p. 18 f.
    7. ^ An Outline of American History. United States Information Agency, May 1994, accessed May 29, 2019 (Chapter 5: Westward Expansion and regional Differences: Nullification Crisis).
    8. James L. Huston: The Panic of 1857 and the Coming of the Civil War. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA [u. a.] 1987, ISBN 0-8071-1368-9 , p. 144 ff.
    9. Marcus Junkelmann: The American Civil War 1861–1865 , pp. 35 ff., On the self-image of the white population in the southern states.
    10. ^ Philippe R. Girard: The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian War of Independence 1801-1804. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 2001, ISBN 978-0-8173-1732-4 .
    11. Kevin C. Julius: The Abolitionist Decade, 1829-1838: A Year-by-Year History of Early Events in the Antislavery Movement. MacFarland and Company, 2004
    12. Date of leaving the Union. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (English, Official Records, Series I, Volume 1, p. 1).
    13. Date of leaving the Union. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (Official Records, Series I, Volume 1, p. 326).
    14. Date of leaving the Union. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (English, Official Records, Series I, Volume 1, p. 331).
    15. Date of leaving the Union. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (Official Records, Series I, Volume 1, p. 326).
    16. Date of leaving the Union. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (English, Official Records, Series I, Volume 1, p. 318).
    17. Date of leaving the Union. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (English, Official Records, Series I, Volume 1, p. 489).
    18. Date of leaving the Union. Texas State Library, July 6, 201, accessed February 23, 2011 (The Ordinances of the Texas Convention, and An Address to the People of Texas). A referendum on February 23, 1861 confirmed the exit.
    19. Date of joining the Confederation. The Library of Congress, May 1904, accessed February 23, 2011 (Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States).
    20. Date of leaving the Union. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 4, 2020 (Official Records, Series IV, Volume 1, p. 223).
    21. Date of joining the Confederation. The Library of Congress, May 1904, accessed February 23, 2011 (Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States).
    22. Date of leaving the Union. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (English, Official Records, Series I, Volume 1, p. 637).
    23. Date of joining the Confederation. The Library of Congress, May 1904, accessed February 23, 2011 (Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States).
    24. Date of leaving the Union. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (English, Official Records, Series I, Volume 1, p. 474).
    25. Date of joining the Confederation. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2011, accessed February 23, 2011 (Official Records, Series IV, Volume 1, p. 336).
    26. Margaret E. Wagner, Gary W. Gallagher, Paul Finkelman: The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference . New York: Simon & Schuster 2009, p. 144. Tennessee voted on secession and entry into the confederation on the same day, for the text of the resolution see resolution on secession. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 4, 2020 (Official Records, Series IV, Volume 1, pp. 289–291).
    27. Margaret E. Wagner, Gary W. Gallagher, Paul Finkelman: The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference . New York: Simon & Schuster 2009, p. 144. Tennessee voted on secession and entry into the confederation on the same day, for the text of the resolution see resolution on secession. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 4, 2020 (Official Records, Series IV, Volume 1, pp. 289–291).
    28. Horace Greeley , The American conflict Lincoln's Inauguration Speech , Vol. 1., Chap. 26, New York 1864, 1969 (repr.), ISBN 0-8371-1438-1 , pp. 422-426.
    29. Census 1860. United States Census Bureau, August 9, 2017, accessed October 27, 2017 (English, Census 1860 - 1860a-02.pdf pp. IV + X).
    30. James McPherson: Battle Cry of Freedom . Oxford University Press, New York, New York 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0 , pp. 318 .
    31. James McPherson: Battle Cry of Freedom . Oxford University Press, New York, New York 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0 , pp. 313 .
    32. ^ Statutes at Large - An Act to provide for the Public Defense. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, October 28, 2017, accessed October 28, 2017 .
    33. James McPherson: Battle Cry of Freedom . Oxford University Press, New York, New York 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0 , pp. 318 f .
    34. ^ Statutes at Large - An Act to establish the Navy Department. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, October 28, 2017, accessed October 28, 2017 .
    35. The composition of the skirmishes and battles corresponds to the order of campaigns, battles and skirmishes by the National Park Service
    36. James McPherson: Battle Cry of Freedom . Oxford University Press, New York, New York 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0 , pp. 322 .
    37. John Keegan: The American Civil War . Vintage Random House, London 1988, ISBN 978-0-7126-1610-2 , pp. 48 .
    38. ^ William J Cooper: Jefferson Davis, American. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2000, p. 387 f.
    39. McPherson Die for Freedom , pp. 360f
    40. ^ Shelby Foote, The Civil War, A Narrative , Volume 1, p. 60.
    41. James M. McPherson, To Die For Freedom , p. 358.
    42. James McPherson: Battle Cry of Freedom . Oxford University Press, New York, New York 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0 , pp. 369 .
    43. Attacks starting on Washington's birthday. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (English, Official Records, Series I, Volume 5, p. 41).
    44. McPherson Dying for Freedom , p. 424.
    45. Losses from landmines. eHistory at The Ohio State University, 2020, accessed July 3, 2020 (English, Official Records, Series I, Volume 11, Part 1, p. 511).
    46. ^ Compare McPherson: Crossroads of Freedom , p. 94.
    47. RM Lance L. Stalcup, B. Wojtylak, CR Bass: Air blast injuries killed the crew of the submarine HL Hunley . In: PLoS ONE 12 (8) . e0182244, 2017, doi : 10.1371 / journal.pone.0182244 .
    48. The National Park Service assigns the Carolina campaign to the western theater of war because it was the continuation of the offensive of the armies of Sherman, which began in Tennessee.
    49. ^ McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom , p. 854
    50. J. David Hacker: A Census-Based Count of the Civil War Dead . In: Civil War History . 57, No. 4, December 2011, pp. 307-348. doi : 10.1353 / cwh.2011.0061 . Retrieved April 4, 2012.
    51. ^ McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom , p. 619
    52. Paul F. Paskoff: AMeasures of War: A Quantitative Examination of the Civil War's Destructiveness in the Confederacy . In: Civil War History . 54, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 35-62. doi : 10.1353 / cwh.2008.0007 . Retrieved March 18, 2021.
    53. This Is A White Man's Government . HarpWeek
    54. Eric Foner: Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction , Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2013, pp. 109-112
    55. Luna Bellani, Anselm Hager, Stephan Maurer: The Long Shadow of Slavery: The Persistence of Slave Owners in Southern Law-Making . CEP Discussion Paper No. 1714 , pp. 5-8
    56. Trevon D. Logan: Whitelashing: Black Politicians, Taxes, and Violence . NBER Working Paper No. p. 26014, pp. 5-8
    57. Luna Bellani, Anselm Hager, Stephan Maurer: The Long Shadow of Slavery: The Persistence of Slave Owners in Southern Law-Making . CEP Discussion Paper No. 1714 , p. 9
    58. J. Morgan Kousser: The Shaping of Southern Politics: Suffrage Restriction and the establishment of the one-party South, 1880-1910. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1974. For an empirical analysis of the effects of the Voting Rights Act, see Timothy Besley, Torsten Persson, and Daniel Sturm: Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the US. Review of Economic Studies (2010) 77: 1329-1352
    59. Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. "The Persistence and Change of Institution in the Americas", Southern Economic Journal 75: 282–299, here p. 288
    60. Luna Bellani, Anselm Hager, Stephan Maurer: The Long Shadow of Slavery: The Persistence of Slave Owners in Southern Law-Making . CEP Discussion Paper No. 1714
    61. Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. "The Persistence and Change of Institution in the Americas", Southern Economic Journal 75: 283-293, here pp. 283-293
    62. McPherson Battle Cry of Freedom , pp. 859f.
    64. After James M. Pherson Battle Cry of Freedom , p. IX.
    This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 26, 2006 .